Book Review

Pancreas Club 53<sup>nd</sup> ANNUAL MEETING

Life and Times of Allen Oldfather Whipple: The Missionary and the Surgeon

by John M. Howard, M.D.

Allen Oldfather Whipple was a pioneer, international leader, and giant figure in surgery. Many contemporary surgeons are familiar with Whipple’s seminal contributions to the discipline of pancreatic surgery; it is unlikely they fully appreciate his enormous and broad ranging influence in administration, education, and international diplomacy. John Malone Howard has enlightened us with an extraordinary biography, The Life and Times of Allen Oldfather Whipple: The Missionary and the Surgeon.

This beautifully written and meticulously researched work (encompassing two volumes and 1,242 pages) provides far more than a simple document of Whipple’s life. The author believes that, “without a full appreciation of his family and the environment in which he grew up, it would be hard to appreciate the character of Allen Whipple the man.” To this end, Howard has created a fascinating historical text. Simply recording Whipple’s extraordinary life – “from family origins to childhood in the missionary colonies of Persia; from early education through medical school and internship; from young man to department chairman to emeritus professor; from child to man, husband to father…” – would be a stimulating reading experience for any current surgeon or medical historian. The historical context and fascinating vignettes further enhance the text. This book represents a true labor of love for Dr. Howard, a senior recorder of surgical and pancreatic history. The creation of this book involved nearly a decade of research including travel to current day Iran as well as numerous interviews with many of Whipple’s surviving relatives.

The Life and Times of Allen Oldfather Whipple is published by Communicā (Toledo, Ohio), and distributed by the University of Toledo Department of Surgery: Mail Stop 1095, 3000 Arlington Avenue, Toledo, OH 43614-2598; telephone 419-383-6298.

Nicholas J. Zyromski, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Indiana University
535 Barnhill Drive, RT 130
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: (317) 274-5012
Fax: (317) 274-4554

The contact person for internet orders is Karen Reitz at The book is offered for the reasonable price of USD $200, with a nominal shipping charge of USD $10. All proceeds from the sale of this first edition will benefit the John and Nina Howard Fund for Pancreatic Research at the University of Toledo Foundation.

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