Rush : Revolution, Madness, and the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father
by Fried, Stephen






A portrait of the medical pioneer and founding father discusses his work in national health care and the treatment of mental illness, his vocal opposition to slavery, and his relationships with Washington, Franklin, and other founders.





STEPHEN FRIED is an award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author who teaches at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Pennsylvania. He is, most recently, the author of the historical biography Appetite for America, and the coauthor, with Congressman Patrick Kennedy, of A Common Struggle. His earlier books include the biography Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia and the investigative books Bitter Pills and The New Rabbi. A two-time winner of the National Magazine Award, Fried has written frequently for Vanity Fair, GQ, The Washington Post Magazine, Rolling Stone, Glamour, and Philadelphia Magazine. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, author Diane Ayres.





Best-selling, award-winning journalist and author Fried (Appetite for America, 2010) illuminates the importance of a lesser-known Founding Father, drawing on previously unpublished primary sources. Young doctor Benjamin Rush bravely signed the Declaration of Independence yet hesitated to get directly involved in politics afterwards, choosing instead his own progressive missions. He was George Washington's surgeon general, had good relationships with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, and found a mentor in Benjamin Franklin. Fried reveals Rush's groundbreaking accomplishments as a lifelong advocate of patients' medical rights and the advancement of medicine. Rush often spoke in favor of and worked hard to achieve better medical treatment and sanitation for American soldiers and improved living conditions for those with mental illnesses. He fought against the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia in 1793, though his methods of treatment were controversial. Valiant, compassionate, and determined, Rush was a vocal opponent of slavery and actively supported African American rights. Fried's reclamation of this important, overlooked American founder is an invaluable addition to American history collections and a solid recommendation to biography fans. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.





A welcome biography of a Founding Father who, for many reasons, has been eclipsed by other figures of the Revolution.Benjamin Rush (1745-1843) is renowned in the annals of American medicine as a pioneer of medical education and the treatment of the mentally ill. Yet, writes Fried (Appetite for America: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire that Civilized the Wild West, 2010, etc.), Rush came to medicine somewhat late, having rejected a career in the clergy and then the law, and he settled in to a kind of general practice that was notable for lifestyle advice: "Every full meal," he warned, "is a stimulous to the whole system, and brings on a temporary fever." Well ahead of contemporaries and later generations of professionals, he advocated a nice round of golf, a game that he claimed would allow its player to "live ten years the longer." Falling into the orbit of freethinkers such as Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, the latter of whom thoug ht him "too much of a talker to be a deep thinker," Rush became a prominent revolutionary and signer of the Declaration of Independence, then surgeon general of the Continental Army. In the last post, he advocated for better conditions for the soldiers, a losing argument in "an army that still didn't have enough uniforms, shoes, or proper weapons." Fried's account of Rush's postwar career is full of oddments: A slaveholder, Rush eventually became a vocal abolitionist and supporter of African-American causes; an early advocate of mental health treatments, some of which we would regard as quackery today, he had some odd notions—e.g., the thought that booksellers, moving from one book and one subject to another so rapidly, "have sometimes become deranged from this cause." In all, Fried delivers a complete portrait of a complex man too little known outside Philadelphia. A careful account of a man who excited attention and controversy in his day but then fell into the shado w s. Fried does well to restore him to history. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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