Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

In Alice Hamilton: Pioneer Doctor in Industrial Medicine, Madeleine P. Grant, who is also a scientist, presents a detailed account of the development of a physician, researcher, and concerned individual. The book is both a biographical account and a statement of Hamilton’s social and philosophical beliefs. Written in chronological order, the book describes Hamilton’s early family life, her education, and her medical research through the course of sixteen chapters.

Throughout the book, Grant intersperses factual accounts of major events in Hamilton’s life with quotations from her family and her well-known friends, such as Jane Addams and Julia Lathrop. These events are also illustrated with interesting, clearly labeled photographs. The reader is able to follow the evolution of a curious young girl, supported and encouraged in her education by her parents, into a crusading woman whose interest in the world, especially in the underprivileged, continued well into her ninth decade. Hamilton’s early curiosity toward science and her unusual education—she was mostly taught at home by her parents—fostered her lifelong interest in medicine and in the sciences. Her sensitivity for the human condition, as well as her keen intellectualism, made her the perfect candidate for scientific discovery and social change.

As Hamilton’s life unfolds in this biography, the young adult reader is carried through major political events and...

(The entire section is 405 words.)