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Saving Lives and Preventing Misery

By John Crofton

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Professor John Crofton (1912-2009) was one of the outstanding physicians of the 20th century. He led the pioneering medical team that first established that tuberculosis could be cured by combination chemotherapy (“the Edinburgh method”). He was also a prominent public health campaigner who did much to change public and political attitudes towards tobacco smoking.

His memoirs describe his childhood years, his student days and climbing holidays, his war years in the RAMC, his radical approach to the treatment of TB, his roles as Edinburgh University Vice-Principal and President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and finally his extensive public health campaigns waged after his retirement from medical practice.

These autobiographical recollections provide fascinating insights into the social and political history of the last century: a child’s view of disturbing episodes during “The Troubles” in an otherwise idyllic Anglo-Irish upbringing; student life in 1930s Cambridge, when students were forbidden to visit pubs and women were segregated from men at lectures; the horrors of pre-NHS hospital medicine; a unique, anecdotal account of serving in World War II, witnessing a mixture of incompetence and heroism; his work as a medical professor in the 1950s discovering a 100% cure for tuberculosis which at first others were reluctant to believe; and a lively account of the years of student unrest, when rector Malcolm Muggeridge, who denounced students as depraved wretches, was followed by a student rector, Gordon Brown, who later became a UK Prime Minister.

Dr David C. Kilpatrick is a retired immunologist and a son-in-law of John Crofton. He is an author or editor of several books and many medical research papers including studies on respiratory diseases.



Hardback ISBN: 9781780355412

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Hardback: £18.00