Views & Reviews Medical Classics

A new look at medicine and politics

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c2958 (Published 09 June 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2958
  1. Richard Smith, director, UnitedHealth Chronic Disease Initiative
  1. richardswsmith@yahoo.co.uk

    Cyril Chantler, one of Britain’s wisest doctors, likes to give people a photocopy of Enoch Powell’s book on medicine and politics and tell them that it’s the best thing ever written on the NHS. Younger readers may not have heard of Enoch Powell, but he was a Tory minister of health in the early 1960s. He is most famous for his racist “rivers of blood speech,” and I can remember protesting outside his Belgravia home. Could he really have written the best book on the NHS?

    I think that Cyril is right. One of Powell’s strengths is that he was a distinguished classicist and writes beautifully, with directness, clarity, and …

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