The Special Field: A History of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins offers a first-of-its-kind account of the growth and achievements of the Department of Neurosurgery since its founding more than a century ago, with particular emphasis on the 21st century.
In part, the book commemorates the 110th anniversary of neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing’s landmark paper, “The Special Field of Neurological Surgery,” which appeared in the Bulletin of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Cushing, then an associate professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins, heralded a new medical specialty when he asserted that neurosurgery was unique and required the undivided attention of its prospective practitioners. When Walter Dandy took over Johns Hopkins neurosurgery in 1912, he ensured that excellence in neurosurgery and impressive advances in its practice would become synonymous with Johns Hopkins.
The book details how the pre-eminence of Johns Hopkins neurosurgery was maintained by Dandy’s successors, A. Earl Walker and Donlin Long, and has reached greater heights under the current department director, Henry Brem.
The Special Field is written by Neil Grauer, a senior writer in the Marketing and Communications Department and designed by David Dilworth, associate director of graphic design. Grauer’s many books include Leading The Way: A History of Johns Hopkins Medicine and Centuries of Caring: The Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Story. Lavishly illustrated, this 432-page history provides a lively account of how Johns Hopkins moved into the forefront of neurosurgical research, education and patient care. It is available for $65 in the 1830 Building’s bookstore and on Amazon.