Of Life and Limb – Surgical Repair of the Arteries in War and Peace, 1880-1960

Justin Barr

In 1880, patients suffering from vascular disease faced amputation — or death. By 1960, a suite of revolutionary techniques and technologies empowered surgeons to remedy aneurysms, mend damaged vessels, and treat arteries clogged with cholesterol, saving the lives and limbs of patients around the world.

Tracking this remarkable transformation, Of Life and Limb: Surgical Repair of the Arteries in War and Peace, 1880-1960 reveals how social, technological, institutional, and military dynamics interplay to catalyze modern surgical innovation. Author Justin Barr examines each of these phenomena through the complementary perspectives of academic historian and clinical surgeon, marshaling extensive research and incisive analysis into a broadly applicable model that helps frame, illuminate, and forecast change in surgery.

Justin Barr received his PhD in History from Yale University and his MD from the University of Virginia. He is currently in residency for general surgery at Duke University.


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