Robert Richardson's biography on Dominique Jean Larrey, one of the foremost pioneers in combat surgery who help paved the way for more effective way of treating wounded soldiers. Larrey created the flying ambulance system that allowed the French army to get their wounded quicker to the field hospitals, thus saving many lives. In other words, Larrey helped invent the concept of "medivac" long before the helicopters was invented. Larrey also proves to be one of those rare humanitarians as he cares for the enemies of France equally as he care his own countrymen. Thus, he soon gained esteemable reputation among his nation's enemies as well as among his friends.

The book proves to be well written and quite readable. It should be noted that this is a professional biography of Larrey, mostly concerning his professional life. The author stressed heavily on his relationship with Napoleon, the administrative red tapes and his close relationship with his patients. There are very little of his personal life written here. 

This is a well needed biography about one of the more important but lesser known individuals of the Napoleonic France. 

Larrey: Surgeon General To Napoleon's Imperial Guard

  • 1974 John Murray London

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