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The Concept of Heart Failure
From Avicenna to Albertini
Saul Jarcho
Harvard University Press, 1980

The Concept of Heart Failure surveys the development of our ideas, both clinical and theoretical, on important aspects of cardiac and pulmonary disease, from the eleventh to the mid-eighteenth century. Before a unified and centralized concept of congestive heart failure was established, individual parts of the syndrome were regarded as discrete clinical entities. As a result, discussion of the syndrome is scattered throughout medieval and Renaissance literature.

Dr. Saul Jarcho, a noted clinician and medical historian, renders a great service in gathering together many little known sources and, with rich commentaries on each author, making them accessible to the modern reader. His translations of Latin, Arabic, and other texts are fluent and skillful. With its thorough documentation, concluding overview, and appendix on the relation between suffocative catarrh and pulmonary edema, The Concept of Heart Failure will be a rich resource for clinicians and historians alike.


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Heart Failure
Ivy Goodman
University of Iowa Press, 1983

These 15 stories meet existence head-on through detached narration that has the quality of a feverish dream. The chilling psyche tells a story where there seems to be no story. Even the victim remains dispassionate and lets the reader infer causes and measure threats. In unvarnished, linear prose stripped of sentimentality, Goodman casts the shape of inarticulate emotion. Yet at the heart of her stories about the foolish, the indifferent, and the vicious, between painful connections and violations, there is regenerating laughter or an inexpressible trace of something once whole and beautiful. Beneath Goodman's every absence, there is a compelling, disturbing presence.


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