This is an attractive collection of essays, some of them adaptations of lectures and addresses which relate to the development and mostly to the history of medicine. Janus looked both ways and Guthrie believes this an "outlook essential to everyone who uses a door." This was also the theme of his History of Medicine (1945) which opened with Winston Churchill's advice to the Royal College of Physicians, "The longer you can look back, the farther you can look forward."
The topics show the wide range of the author's penetrating and affectionate interest. First, he seeks a philosophy of medicine and describes, from experience, how to write its history. He then throws new or refreshes old light on Greek and Arabic medicine—Harvey, Heberden, Hunter, Sir Thomas Browne, Laennec, Osler, and some not as well known. An Edinburgh man, he properly undertakes a symposium on Scottish medicine, to which we owe so