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Historical Effects of Abdominal Injuries.

Ralph H. Major, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1969;124(4):511. doi:10.1001/archinte.1969.00300200123023.
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The title of this book gives the unsuspecting reader no inkling of what lies in wait for him when he explores the pages of this interesting and diverting little book. Since so many, perhaps the majority of abdominal injuries are the result of man's "tendency to settle his differences with an opponent by resorting to violence," the author describes many examples of death by violence beginning with Homer's account of the death of Polydoros at the hands of Achilles and concluding with the assassination of President Kennedy by Lee Harvey Oswald who was subsequently shot in the abdomen by Jack Ruby. The assassinations of Col James Fisk, Jr., President James A. Garfield, President William McKinley, and Senator Huey Long are described with pertinent medical data.

This story of violent death beginning in ancient Greece when arrows and swords were the chief weapons is followed through the Middle Ages with their


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