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Do you remember the story that illustrates the national characters of four major European countries? How a publisher offered a generous cash prize for the best manuscript on the elephant? An Englishman submitted his memoirs, My Twenty Years in the Bush Hunting the Last Albino Elephant; a Frenchman turned in, La Vie Sexuelle of the Elephant; when the ice thawed in the harbor of St. Petersburg, a Russian shipped over, The Elephant—Does it Exist; the German deposited on the editor's desk, Der Elephant—Ein Handbuch in Twenty-Seven Volumes.
Billroth may have unwittingly accounted for this Germanic bent for systematic thoroughness:
Encyclopedia of Urology. Vol. II. Physiology and Pathological Physiology.. Ann Intern Med. 1966;64:960–961. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-64-4-960_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1966;64(4):960-961.
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