This book review is reprinted with the permission of the American Institute of Homeopathy
The Heritage of Homoeopathic Literature:An Abbreviated Bibliography
by Julian Winston
Foreword by Klau-Henning Gypser, M.D.
Preface by Richard Moskowitz, M.D.
7.5"x10". 243 pages. ISBN: 0-473-07996-8.2001. $35.00
Published by Great Auk Publishing. Wellington, New Zealand
Distributor Washington Homeopathic Products (1 -800-336-169S)
Reviewed by Jay Yasgur RPh., MSc.
Mr.Winston has again outdone himself. This latest book which surveys
the English language homeopathic literature, is icing on his Faces of
Homceopathy (1999) cake. In that work, he covered the history of homeopathy
in the United States (a bit of the world and more than a bit of Britain)
and the people who made that history. Now, in seventeen chapters,he orders
the homeopathic literature and annotates almost every entry, every book.These
chapters are:The Organon, Principles, Materia
Medica (comparative,regional,and with repertory), Repertory (including computer), Therapeutics, Domestic Manuals, Veterinary Manuals, Anatomy, Pathology, and Diagnosis, Pharmacy PopularWorks, CriticalWorks, History, Biography, Other Books, Journals, and six Appendices. Each of these chapters is prefaced with a short introduction in order to acquaint the reader with the basics of that subject material.
He wrote this book for a number of reasons including:"first, to remind veteran homoeopaths, and to show the newer homoeopaths, the vastness of our literary heritage;second,to avoid the false impression given by some references that, for example, Nash's Leaders was written and published in 1984 the date of the Jain [this New Delhi, India homeopathic publishing company has a very large catalogue of reprinted works.There are other Indian companies which concentrate on reprinting older, out-of-print works, but Jain is the most prominent] reprint"; and "third, to inspire homoeopaths and others to seek out these works and use them for the valuable information which is buried within'
Later Mr.Winston quotes a friend and homeopath: "The main issue people have not deeply understood, is that the literature gives you the background-it places you in the material.The second step is to have a good teacher who can use that material and guide you in taking it to the next level.
"The way the material is being used now is to search through it, rather than to read it.Searching does not give you breadth or background.
'The sad thing is that people are so far away from understanding the problem that they can not even differentiate the two skills'
Let's look at a typical entry (p.51, The Heritage...) Boger's important yet little known or utilized, The Synoptic Key (1915):
"I 915:The Synoptic Key: Cyrus Maxwell Boger, MD Printed by the author,
Parkersburg,WV; 224 pages. A brief repertory/materia medica combination.Only
323 remedies are covered.The repertory section is divided into four categories:
a) the periods of aggravation (times)
b) conditions of aggravation and amelioration
c) generalities (sensations and general conditions)
d) regional repertory (parts of the body affected)
'Although it is not as'full'as the Boericke book (in terms of remedies covered), many practitioners find it an ideal reference book at the bedside.
"Many people have bought the book, but few read the introduction which outlines Boger's ideas about how to'order'the case, and explains that the materia medica of each remedy is presented in that'order.' Once this is understood, and time is spent concentrating on the details of the case-taking (as Boger explains it), the book takes on a new level of usefulness.
"Boger is one whose entire being oozed the ability to abstract, condense, and then condense further His writing, likewise, is condensed and abstracted, and one can easily miss the depth of meaning because a paragraph is so short. Phatak described the need to have Boger's intellect and acumen,'and said the work is useful if'well understood.'Thus said, this volume could serve as the only book one might need as a reference for general practice." (the normal font is Mr.Winston's description of the book's content and the italic material his commentary on the book).
This sort of information is not just interesting but useful for the individual selecting books for his library.
On every page, one is treated to anecdotes, some of an historical nature. For example, on the opposite page is the Boericke and Dewey entry, The Twelve Tissue Remedies (1888).This book covers the cell salts of Dr. Schussler, and Winston's annotation of it offers fascinating insights into how Schussler developed his thought,which by the way is rooted in R. Virchow's theory of'cellular pathology.This example also reveals a minor fault which this book has -- no index. In this instance, if one were interested in looking up Schussler (or Lac humanum, or Kurt Hochstetter, or Higinio Perez, etc.) but didn't know that Boericke or Dewey wrote this book, one would be unlikely to access this information.This book does contain two indices, though: books listed chronologically by date and books listed by the author's last name. Page numbers do not accompany these entries and, while this is not an absolute necessity, it would have made hunting down references much easier. If all you have is a title,you will have a difficult time finding the work as there is no title index.
Want another tidbit? The annotation under"1913: Homoeopathy in Medicine
and Surgery (Edmund Carleton, MD) contains:
"This book is a narrative of his clinical experiences and contains gems on almost every page.Where else would you find that Lac caninum was made from the milk of Mrs. Bayard's spaniel [the wife of homeopath Edward Bayard, M.D.] whose 'affection for the human race was unusually strong'? This book is, in the words of Chris Ellithorp [noted scholar and aficionado of homeopathic literature],'another neglected gem", (p. 92, The Heritage...).
There are four illustrations and two graphs. The illustration of R.R.
Gregg's An Illustrated Repertory of Pains in Chest, Sides, and Back
(1879) is a treat if one has never seen the author's remedy diagrams.Also
nice is the'cypher' (Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica-Cypher
Repertory, 1859) and 'card repertory' (The General Analysis - A
1926).We only rarely (if ever) see these 'curios' anymore, but they serve an educative purpose.The graphs give you an idea of how many books were published from one decade to the next.Just as a good hardback dictionary has thumb-nails to allow
quicker and easier access to the alphabet,Winston thoughtfully includes'shadow-tabs'to mark the sections. He could have included them on each side of the page to allow one to more easily access the sections as one goes backwards through the book.
Aside from the over 900 entries, Julian includes editions which have
been published in other languages.This is strange since I thought this
was to be an English language bibliography. As I pondered this it became
understandable to me, especially in
the case of the Organon section.The inclusion of German references serves to provide an historical context and deepen one's admiration for the literature.This is less prevalent throughout the rest of the text, but does crop up here and there. For instance, in the'history'section Winston includes R.Tischner's authoritative work, Geschichte der Homoopathie (1939).This book, which is primarily a history of German homeopathy plus a number of biographies, has yet to be translated into English.Also, Mr.Winston forgets to add that this work has been reprinted.
Also included is Dr. B.C.Woodbury Jr.'s article (p. 190, The Heritage
... ) "The Literary Armamentarium: or Books that the Homoeopathic Physician
Cannot do Without, and Something About Them" (read before the Connecticut
Homoeopathic Medical Society Derby, Conn., October 20,193 1) in which he
talks about books which should make up the homeopath's
"Five Foot Bookshelf'(in other words, five linear feet of indispensable books).The section on publishers is useful but would have been even better if'Jewels' had included some historical background on a couple of them.The journal section is a treat.Journals contain so much'living material ' 'Even today people discard them when they could easily be saved or passed along.
I am happy to have this quality paperback book and use it almost as often as I do his opus, The Faces of Homoeopathy. Homeopathy is lucky to have Mr. Winston - his books, his video, his countless articles and presentations, his opinions, his devotion, his love. Homeopathy is fortunate to have that, his love.
Few things in life are perfect and this book is no exception. But the beauty of this volume is that it can help one create one's own version of perfection. Every person deeply interested in homeopathy, truly in love with this art,should purchase this book. Buy it sooner rather than later.
This volume will not only increase your knowledge and navigation of
the homeopathic literature but, perhaps,catapult your appreciation of this
'lover' to a new level.