According to the author's introduction, the most "beautiful and informative images of nursing are found on picture postcards" (xi). He has gathered over 580 full--color postcard images of nursing from 65 nations, documenting nurses' work in peace and war time and documenting, often in breathtakingly lovely images, an important part of nursing's history. Postcards from the years 1893 to 2002 (many of these from the "golden age of postcards," 1907 through World War I) follow nurses from factories to flu wards, from battlefields to mission welfare clinics.

The author has divided his book into seven chapters: "Symbols of Care," "Twentieth--Century Postcard Art," "As Advertised: The Nurse on the Advertising Postcard," "Portraits," "War!" "An American Photo Postcard Album," and "Parade of Nations." Each chapter begins with an intelligent, fascinating explanatory essay by the author, and each chapter ends with copious notes revealing the origins and stories behind the postcards. The book has an extensive bibliography and is well indexed.


This "coffee-table" book is visually gorgeous--beautifully printed and executed--and filled with images of nursing that are indeed "the most informative and beautiful images" I've ever seen. In these postcards, nurses are portrayed in paintings, photos, and drawings, sometimes as selfless angels but more often as simply human--caring, funny, loving and loved. All of the postcards are interesting, many of them are stunning. Collectively, they honor the rich history of nursing, brought to life here in this visually compelling documentary.


This book was awarded the American Journal of Nursing's Book of the Year Award. Ordering information:


Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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