Publications Surgery

Rhinoplasty and Facial Plastic Surgery with a Supplement on Mammoplasty and Other Operations In the Field of Plastic Surgery of the Body—An Atlas and Textbook. Jacques Joseph
$225.00 (list price $395.00)

First edition in English of the most famous classic of plastic and aesthetic surgery published in the 20th century. The original German edition of Joseph’s book published in 1931 is a legendary rarity. This deluxe limited edition English translation was issued in 1987 for $300 per copy. The original publisher later raised the price to $395. We have seen copies of this English edition offered on the Internet for as much as $1500. We acquired the remainder of the edition and are offering brand new copies of this superlative publication for far less than they would have to cost if they were produced today, even if the manufacturing was done in China. This work was issued as the proverbial “labor of love” with absolutely no production costs spared. It publishes the English translation of Joseph’s complete text and all his original illustrations in a format that follows the German edition page for page. Considering the comprehensive nature of Joseph’s text, and the huge number of illustrations, this is a significant achievement. Elegantly and durably bound with a red leather spine tooled in gold and a sturdy cloth slipcase, this work is a superb example of modern book production.

English translation by Stanley Milstein. 843 pages with 1718 illustrations, some in color. 175 x 200 mm. Red morocco leather spine tooled in gold, black cloth boards, in gold-stamped cloth slipcase. Printed on acid-free coated paper. (1987).

Buy Now »


Prof. Dr. Jaques Joseph has had a powerful influence on the development of facial plastic surgery. Although trained initially as an orthopedic surgeon, he introduced the intranasal rhinoplasty to Europe in 1898. Joseph’s description of intranasal rhinoplasty came several years after Roe in the United States, but it is Joseph who is often credited with popularizing the technique. For this reason, Joseph has often been referred to as the father of modern rhinoplasty. Joseph developed a busy inter-national practice in rhinoplasty and aesthetic surgery in Berlin prior to World War II. He was also the Director of Facial Plastic Surgery at the Charite Hospital in Berlin, where he gained an extensive clinical experience in reconstructing facial injuries of World War I casualties.

When Joseph published his textbook in German in 1931, it was intended as a practical manner of describing his surgical techniques and patient analysis to students of reconstructive and aesthetic surgery. Included in the text are numerous illustrations—clear and consistent, preoperative and postoperative photographs that are of equal quality, exposure, and orientation. The subjects covered are meticulously organized and span a wide range of facial aesthetic and reconstructive procedures. The chapters on nasal surgery are especially well documented and show a clear view of Joseph’s techniques. Multiple references to other leading German authors of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries provide insight into a body of literature rarely viewed by the English-speaking medical world. Only 1500 copies of this text were printed in 1931. Just as Joseph was reaching the peak of his career and his book had been released, the tide of Nazism in Germany wiped away much of the Jewish community in Berlin. Most of the copies of Joseph’s text disappeared at that time.

Dr. Milstein has researched and prepared for this translation with years of work. He studied German language at the Goethe Institute in 1983, and enlisted expert help in the United States for technical advice. Dr. Milstein has previous medical translation experience, with his English publication of Politzer’s History of Otology. The translator has kept as true to the original Joseph manuscript as possible. This includes the same style of typeface and identical pagination. The text has been translated in a readable and understandable manner—not an easy task from technical German medical literature. The preparation of the 1,718 illustrations and photographs by a Japanese printing company are superb and of excellent quality. The volume is handsomely bound in leather, with embossed gold lettering on the spine. A cloth cover is included, with a gold imprint of Prof. Dr. Joseph’s signature on the front. All of the paper is of high quality and acid-free for longevity.

This excellent translation and preparation of a classic work in facial plastic surgery is a pleasure to read through and imagine the world of Jaques Joseph in early twentieth century Germany. It will become apparent to the modern facial plastic surgeon that the concepts and techniques presented by Joseph in 1931 are very much evident in modern surgery. Even at the suggested price of $300.00, this book is worth the cost. It will provide many hours of pleasure, and a valuable resource, for any surgeon with interest in the development of facial plastic surgery.

—Ira D. Papel, MD
Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery 99 (November 1988).

What a treat to read an English translation of the only book that Jacques Joseph published. Few will argue that Joseph pioneered modem aesthetic surgery, particularly nasal aesthetic surgery. However, since he wrote in German and the book is very scarce, studying the original is difficult. Now Stanley Milstein, who spent 8 years preparing this English translation, provides an opportunity to study this major work. The translation is not so literal as to render the meaning difficult nor so loose that the original concepts are adulterated. It was prepared page by page, so blank spaces are noted when the English language is more economical than German. The illustrations and photographs are actually better than my copy of the original. As an aside, those interested in learning more about Joseph’s life should read Paul Natvig’s excellent book, Jacques Joseph, Surgical Sculptor.

Joseph notes in his Preface that he wrote the book at the urging of his students. In that section, he also used the word aesthetic. The book is meticulously subdivided and indexed. The illustrations and photographs are so plentiful, 1718 being present, that the text is almost redundant.

I was surprised to note that in the Germany of the 1920s, Joseph used many terms with Greek roots: A reduction rhinoplasty is called a “rhinomioplasty,” a nasal replacement (what we would call a nasal reconstruction) is referred to as a “rhinoneoplasty,” a straightening is called a “rhinorthoplasty,” a forehead lift is called a “metopoplasty,” and so on. Joseph coined the term antidysplasia, an aversion to deformity,. to describe why patients undergo aesthetic surgery. Obviously it did not catch on. He did say that aesthetic surgical patients wished to “look average and inconspicuous.”

In performing what we would call an aesthetic rhinoplasty, Joseph used saws for his hump and lateral osteotomies. Although he has been quoted widely for his approach to the nasal tip, following what he advocated was difficult. However, it is quite clear that he did not preserve an intact rim of cartilage. Elsewhere Joseph describes his methods for augmenting the nasal dorsum with carved ivory, repairing a cleft lip, face lifting by skin excision, reconstruction of the ear also by an ivory implant, and breast reduction. The latter procedure was performed in two stages: In the first stage, the nipple-areola complex was moved to its new location on a pedicle, and in the second stage, the pedicle was divided and the parenchyma excised.

The surgical procedures are described briefly and demonstrated profusely with illustrations and photographs, many of which show dramatic results. Frequently, the follow-up interval is not stated, but in many instances it appears quite short. Many of his techniques were identical to those of his predecessors. In that regard, he acknowledges the contributions of others, including Tagliacozzi, Carpue, Dieffenbach, and Lexer, whose original illustrations are reproduced. Although Gillies and Blair are not cited, just as with them, much of Joseph’s surgery was performed on World War I casualties.

The book does not go into indications, and complications are rarely acknowledged. Since lawyers had yet to discover their gold mine, i.e., “informed consent,” that was not part of his lexicon. However, Joseph does cite a case of malpractice: Someone else did an external (open) rhinoplasty and a bad scar resulted. Despite the fact that Joseph espoused the internal approach, he supported his colleague. Incidentally, on occasion, he did use the external approach.

Of course, instruments and suture materials were those of his time. He did note with pride that Novocain replaced cocaine as the agent for local injections. Incidentally, at that time, chloroform and ether were used for general anesthesia.

The value of this book is that it demonstrates the practice of plastic surgery 60 years ago. This has been revised, expanded, altered, and discarded. History buffs and those who are interested in the evolution and growth of plastic surgery will find this book to be a marvelous communion with our past. Residents and other students should be aware that it does not reflect current therapy.

—Eugene H. Courtiss, M.D.
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (June 1988)

Well, at last it has been done!!! Stanley Milstein of Phoenix, Arizona has superbly translated Jacques Joseph’s only book, one of the classics and milestones in the history of plastic, reconstructive, and aesthetic surgery.

For any plastic surgeon who was fortunate enough to own a copy of this book in German, the only drawback for most English-speaking surgeons was that they could not read the German language well, or even at all. Most of us throughout the world would frequently remark that “it was a shame that no one ever translated Joseph’s monumental book.” Paul Natvig, who wrote a colorful narrative biography of Joseph published in 1982 [1], stated as much throughout the text of his book. He hinted that a translation of the book was in progress, but unfortunately, during his lifetime of hard work ac-cumulating most of the available information about Joseph, he never lived to see its masterly translation into English by Milstein.

Very little has to be said about the excellent quality of Joseph’s writings. Although he was not the first to devise the intranasal approach for aesthetic surgery of the nose, which appeared 11 years before his first article (1898) on aesthetic nasal surgery, when John Orlando Roe in 1887 described the intranasal approach in 3 patients for the first time [2], Joseph for all intents and purposes became the great popularizer of this operation and many still like to refer to him as the “father” of aesthetic nasoplasty.

He was probably one of the earliest, in medical history, after Roe, to illustrate his texts with extremely clear, accurate, explicit, pre- and postoperative photographs which documented his surgical results and left no doubt whatsoever that he was the master surgeon which colleagues who studied under him such as Aufricht, Safian, and others attested to [1].

Therefore, little or no comment is necessary about the contents of this great book, since one must merely own a copy of it to bask in the glory of what had been achieved by Joseph in the field of plastic, reconstructive, and aesthetic surgery prior to his untimely death. What can be reviewed in this book, however, is the excellent, and astoundingly fine piece of work which Stanley Milstein has per-formed in translating this book from the difficult medical German into very readable English.

Stanley Milstein, himself, is a bit of a wonder in this regard. When I asked him recently, prior to writing this book review, how he as an American came to be able to understand and translate the German language as well as he could, he provided me with a brief handwritten autobiography of his life up to the present which this reviewer has taken the liberty of paraphrasing so that it could be incorporated into the body of the book review itself (with Milstein’s permission, of course).

Milstein grew up in New York City speaking two languages which are mostly of Germanic origin, namely—English and Yiddish. His parents were Russian–Jewish immigrants who came to America shortly after the turn of the century, and when he was a child, both of his parents worked very long hours and had little opportunity to learn English with any facility. Young Stanley, however, spent his days in school speaking English, and in the late afternoon listening to the radio. He grew, up speaking radio-announcer general American, the kind that could be heard on such programs as ’The Lone Ranger” and “Captain Midnight.” In fact, his school chums told him that he “talked funny.” As a result, he became his parents’ English translator. And his parents told him frequently that he was very good at it, using the Yiddish expression “loz dos Kind dus erklaren;”—“let the child explain it,” a phrase they frequently used.

Therefore, Milstein assumed that he was a born translator and to use an affectionate expression in his letter to me recently, he wrote “…When I translate I feel I’m back in Mama’s lap.”

He believes that his attitude was that he was good at languages and also had a love for the sound of a language well spoken, which made him excel in languages at high school and subsequently at college, where by the way, at C.C.N.Y. he won the National Collegiate Dramatic Reading Championship.

When he was a G.I. stationed in France he obtained high grades for his study of French from the University of Maryland Overseas, which helped to pull up his overall grades considerably when he applied for admission to a medical school.

He never studied German in high school or college but he could half understand it because of his basic knowledge of Yiddish and that of the other Germanic language, namely English. At the University of Iowa in preparation for a Ph.D. program which he never completed after he obtained an M.A., he took the German Ph.D. exam “cold” and passed it!

During his residency at Northwestern University in Chicago, he began collecting old medical books and still collects them. He obtained a copy in 1976 of Politzer’s Geschichte der Ohrenheilkunde and he realized that it was a treasure that deserved to be translated. He determined to do it. He worked closely with several native speakers of German on the book and made a startling discovery, namely—that in translating a book it is more important to be fluid in the translated language than in the original language. In medical German he could, with his medical background, make the English more comprehensible than could the native speakers of German. So heartened by this understanding, he proceeded to translate Politzer’s History of Otology which was published in 1981 [3].

Approximately in the year 1979, he acquired a copy of the Joseph volume. He had heard at rare book conventions that the Nazis had burned this book. He once asked Jeremy Norman, the prominent rare medical book dealer from San Francisco, how many copies of the original 1931 Leipzig editions of Joseph he had sold in his career and the answer was “none.” As a result of this, he vowed to translate Joseph’s text.

In 1980 he interviewed the 94-year-old Joseph Safian in his Miami Beach penthouse. Safian had been a student of Joseph’s during the 1920s. He had the foresight to take a 4-hour tape recording of this interview and Safian was remarkably alert and his memory for distant events quite sharp. The Safian interview was the closest he could get to Joseph the man, and it stimulated him to continue his efforts to translate the Joseph. When Natvig’s book appeared in 1982, he was enthralled reading it and determined to study German in Berlin, Joseph’s city.

In the summer of 1983 he studied German at the Goethe Institute in West Berlin; it was a gruelling summer presided over by an exacting Professor H. R. Rein. In Berlin he tried to visit the places that Joseph had visited in an attempt, to get even closer to his spirit. Schaefer’s Pharmacy on Kleiststrasse 34 (see pages 75 in Joseph) was the only “Joseph location” he could find. He found Berlin to be as avant garde in 1983 as he had read that it was in Joseph’s time. Thus stimulated, he left Berlin with his Langenscheidt’s Dictionary well thumbed and devoted almost half of his time for the next 4 years literally immersed in the translation. His rule was that the translation had to be comprehensible to him and also, apart from its technical aspects, to Dr. Collice Portnoff, Emeritus Professor of English at Arizona State University. In 1984, a short paper taken from this Joseph translation and authored by Milstein was published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery [4]. He had all the translated text type-set in Phoenix in a typeface matching the original as closely as possible. He also, kept the pagination the same. His object was to make any given translated page look like the original edition. This fidelity to the original had a practical aspect: there are often cross references in the book and if the pagination were not the same it would be impossible to follow.

(There is no doubt that what Milstein tried to achieve in matching page for page both in type, quality, and superb reproductions of illustrations and photographs, was accomplished remarkably well).

The book has been produced by Dai Nippon Printing Company, Tokyo, who rephotographed with remarkable clarity, all the 1,718 illustrations, using Milstein’s original 1931 edition, and the boards of the text were typeset in Phoenix. Milstein found that the most difficult part of his translation was the Subject Index. Each entry had to be translated and realphabetized. As he said in his letter to me recently “Whew!.”

“What was it like translating the Joseph?” he asked himself. “Early on it was like carrying a large boulder uphill; later, like carrying a large boulder downhill.”

And finally in asking himself the question “What got me interested in translating the Joseph?,” he replied:

“First of all, Joseph was a name attached to many surgical instruments I have used. Secondly I had seen many references to Joseph in the literature and even expressions of interest in having this work translated. My interest as a physician in Joseph was augmented by my fascination with the times in which he lived: the emergence of Germany as a world power, World War I, Berlin of the Weimar Republic, and the rise of Nazism.

“I hope this rambling discourse, hastily prepared, will shed some light on my motivation to translate the Joseph.”

Need I, as the book reviewer, and the paraphraser of Stanley Milstein’s life, say anything more? The answer is undoubtedly “No!, No!, No!.” The only suggestion to the reader of this book re-view is to go out and buy as many copies of the Joseph book as you can before they are sold out, especially to have one in your office, one in your home, and one in your weekend retreat or summer retreat or winter retreat to thumb through and read through again and again with great pleasure!

—Blair O. Rogers, M.D.
Professor of Clinical Surgery (Plastic Surgery)
New York University Medical Center
Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 11 (1987)

Non-German-speaking plastic surgeons have always had to rely solely on the illustrations in Joseph’s 1931 magnum opus, but they can now read the text in English together with Joseph’s illustrations. These are reproduced faithfully, some in colour, in this good quality book which comes in its own black cardboard dust case, on the back of which is reproduced Joseph’s signature.

Joseph was the “father of cosmetic surgery” and much else in reconstruction (British Journal of Plastic Surgery, 1984, 37, 412 and 667). Copies of his original text in German have been available since about 1978 (Holden Books Ltd, 1978). The situation was doubly frustrating since rumours of the existence of Milstein’s translation reached the UK about 3 years ago. At last it is available to all. The translation reads easily, but should not “blunt-ended knife” (p. 139) be bistoury? This is a quibble and does not reflect an adverse opinion of this important book, which is a delight to read and is recommended as a valuable primer for the trainee and as a repeated pleasure for the established surgeon. It is well worth its cost.

Consultant Plastic Surgeon, St Andrew’s Hospital, Billericay;
Hon. Archivist, British Association of Plastic Surgeons
British Journal of Plastic Surgery 41 (1988)

« back to all Surgery Publications

back to top