Books et al.HISTORY OF MEDICINE

A barrier breaker's complicated legacy

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Science  22 Jan 2021:
Vol. 371, Issue 6527, pp. 354
DOI: 10.1126/science.abf7416

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Summary

In 1849 Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to receive a medical degree from an American college. She was a resourceful, dedicated, and imaginative thinker. She was also a greedy, racist, and rivalrous snob. In The Doctors Blackwell, Janice Nimura shifts between Blackwell's own account of her singular greatness and the story of her relationship with her medical colleague, occasional roommate, and little sister, Emily. Nimura's smart and skillful collective biography layers an account of an exceptional individual onto a narrative of the interdependence and political structures that made the myth of Elizabeth Blackwell possible.

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