The United States enjoys an established and essentially unchallenged role in the field of surgery. In this sweeping history of American surgical practice, renowned surgeon Seymour I. Schwartz, MD, describes how surgery in this country advanced from the comparatively crude practices of pioneering physicians in the pre-Columbian and colonial eras to its current level of preeminence in scientific surgery today. Of interest to the layperson and professional alike, Dr. Schwartz’s engrossing narrative brings to life the personalities and sometimes dramatic conflicts that led to breakthrough contributions. In the nineteenth century, for example, the many colorful characters and surgical innovations included: a surgeon in a small Kentucky community who successfully removed a huge tumor from a woman’s abdomen without anesthesia; the three individuals who each laid claim to the development of ether anesthesia; and the first successful gallbladder operation. Turning to the twentieth century, Dr. Schwartz highlights the evolution of vascular surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, and organ transplantation. Many great innovators made crucial contributions, including the Nobel Prize winners Alexis Carrel, who developed a method to sew vessels together, and Joseph Murray, who worked on kidney transplantation in Boston. Complete with an array of intriguing illustrations, this definitive work will captivate general readers with its engaging narrative and will inform medical professionals through its solid historical research and medical expertise.