Book Reviews

The Other Side of Courage: The Saga of Elizabeth Blackwell by Robert Nordmeyer


In her quest to become a doctor, Elizabeth Blackwell faced nearly-insurmountable odds. One medical school after another turned her away, outraged and scandalized that a woman would be so brazen as to attempt to become a doctor. Discouraged and disheartened, Elizabeth continued to push on. Luck was on her side when she applied to Geneva College in Geneva, New York. The Dean left the decision in the hands of the students who would have to learn and work alongside her, and (much to his surprise), they unanimously voted to allow her admission into medical school. When she graduated in 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell was entered into the annals of history as the first woman ever to earn a medical degree.

While this book focuses mainly on Elizabeth’s struggle to become a doctor, and her subsequent career, it also provides insight into her earlier years. We glimpse her life as a child living in England shortly before a tragedy forces her family to emigrate to America, and see the chain of events that led to her decision to become a doctor. Elizabeth faced many hardships in her life, but she never let anything stand in the way of her goals, nor was she afraid to take on controversial topics in order to better educate the public about health matters.

I’ve been interested in Elizabeth Blackwell since I first learned who she was, and why she was such an important historical figure. This is the first time I’ve read a book about her, however, and I learned a great deal that I didn’t know. Elizabeth Blackwell lived a fascinating life, indeed.

This book was as enjoyable as it was informative. If you like reading historical fiction novels based on real people and events, you won’t want to miss out on this one.

I received a review copy of this book courtesy of the author.

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Author: Robert Nordmeyer
Title: The Other Side of Courage: The Saga of Elizabeth Blackwell
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date:  July 1, 2016 by CyPress Publications
Rating: 3 stars

About the Book

Historic Courage changed the World.

In 1849 a single, simple action altered the course of women forever. Elizabeth Blackwell received her degree in medicine. In that profound moment she shattered that glass ceiling by becoming the first woman ever to do so, emerging as a fully accredited physician. Her path was not without suffering the constant throes of anger and antipathy from the medical profession. However, despite this bitter and harsh treatment, Elizabeth was determined to prevail through stubborn courage and an iron-clad will and triumphed for the good of all society.

About the Author

ROBERT NORDMEYER has written professionally for more than 45 years as a published journalist, columnist and author, as well as creating advertising copy for both print and broadcast media, developing public relations and promotional materials, and writing text for marketing campaigns. His published books include Shepards in the Desert, commissioned and published by the Diocese of Tucson and Guide to Organizing and Successfully Operating a Nonprofit Organization, published by the Graduate Group. For five years he was a Professional member of the Society of Southwestern Authors and served on the Society’s Board of Directors. Robert and his wife Rita are residents of Tucson, Arizona.