An Interactive Annotated World Bibliography of Printed and Digital Works in the History of Medicine and the Life Sciences from Circa 2000 BCE to 2022 by Fielding H. Garrison (1870-1935), Leslie T. Morton (1907-2004), and Jeremy M. Norman (1945- ) Traditionally Known as “Garrison-Morton”

15961 entries, 13944 authors and 1935 subjects. Updated: April 29, 2024

LEWIS, Sinclair

1 entries
  • 10197


New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1925.

"This novel has been inspirational for several generations of pre-medical and medical students. There is much agonizing along the way concerning career and life decisions. While detailing Arrowsmith's pursuit of the noble ideals of medical research for the benefit of mankind and of selfless devotion to the care of patients, Lewis throws many less noble temptations and self-deceptions in Arrowsmith's path. The attractions of financial security, recognition, even wealth and power distract Arrowsmith from his original plan to follow in the footsteps of his first mentor, Max Gottlieb, a brilliant but abrasive bacteriologist.

"In the course of the novel Lewis describes many aspects of medical training, medical practice, scientific research, scientific fraud, medical ethics, public health, and of personal/professional conflicts that are still relevant today. Professional jealousy, institutional pressures, greed, stupidity, and negligence are all satirically depicted, and Arrowsmith himself is exasperatingly self-involved. But there is also tireless dedication, and respect for the scientific method and intellectual honesty...."

"The book's climax deals with Arrowsmith's discovery of a phage that destroys bacteria and his experiences as he faces an outbreak of bubonic plague on a fictional Caribbean island."

"Martin Arrowsmith shares some biographical elements with Félix d'Herelle, who is identified in the novel as a co-discoverer of the bacteriophage and represented as having beaten Arrowsmith into publication with his results" (selections from Wikipedia article on Arrowsmith, accessed 4-2018).

Subjects: INFECTIOUS DISEASE › VECTOR-BORNE DISEASES › Flea-Borne Diseases › Plague (transmitted by fleas from rats to humans), LITERATURE / Philosophy & Medicine & Biology › Fiction, VIROLOGY › Bacteriophage