From the website Public Discourse. I'm on their weekday email list and this was Friday's. The reviewer "Aaron Rothstein, MD, is a neurology resident at the NYU School of Medicine. He spends half of his time training at Bellevue Hospital and blogs regularly about medicine for The New Atlantis."
This is an unusual modus operandi in a healthcare system that has few resources for such altruistic causes. But Bellevue has operated in this way since its very inception, acting as the hospital of last resort for New York City and for America’s neediest and most troubled, as David Oshinsky reminds us in his fascinating new history of the institution, Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital. Professor Oshinsky, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Polio: An American Story and professor of history at NYU, eloquently tells the hospital’s history from its humble beginnings to its subsequent accomplishments and horrors.
Oshinsky’s comprehensive book arrives at a time when the public hospital system’s difficulties are compounded by our healthcare system’s financial hardships and confusion, calling into question whether supporting such institutions is worth the investment. His history, however, is less a cheerleading polemic and more a fascinating tale, demonstrating that Bellevue’s past and present are equally unsettling, remarkable, and enduringly relevant.