Contact Wounds

Contact Wounds Cover

Contact Wounds

A War Surgeon's Education

By Jonathan Kaplan

Grove Press, Paperback, 9780802142788, 278pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2006

Description

Surgery is the crude art of cutting people open, yet it is also a symphony of delicate manipulation and subtle chords. So says Jonathan Kaplan in his stunning book Contact Wounds, an electrifying account of a doctor’s education in the classroom, in life, and on the battlefield. Inspired by his father, a military surgeon in World War II and Israel’s nascent fight for statehood, Kaplan became a doctor and was appointed to a post at a woefully understaffed South African general hospital in a black township. Fleeing apartheid, he traveled the globe in search of sanctuary, experiencing riots, tropical fevers, political upheaval, and a jungle search for a lost friend. Kaplan eventually landed in Angola, taking charge of a combat-zone hospital, the only surgeon for 160,000 civilians, where he was exposed daily to the horrors of war. Journeying further into dangerous territory, Kaplan portrays serving as a volunteer surgeon in Baghdadwhere he treated civilian casualties amid gunfights for control of hospitals and dealt with gangs of AK-47-wielding looters stripping pharmacies. Contact Wounds is a stirring testament of adventure, discovery, survival, and the making of a career devoted to saving people caught in the crossfire of war.



About the Author
Massimo Pigliucci is associate professor of ecology and evolution at Stony Brook University. Jonathan Kaplan is assistant professor of philosophy at Oregon State University.