"Becker achieves many things in her fine monograph, but the most significant is to illuminate the neglected but vital subject of Russian doctors as state officials. Very broadly, she shows Russian doctors as they actually were rather than how some of them wished to be. Becker's focus, that of forensic medicine, is also innovative because she chooses to study a body of expertise that bridges the disciplines of medicine and law. Especially in its illumination of the state-service role of physicians, this book should reorient the history of Russian medicine before 1917. It is a tour-de-force, essential reading for anyone studying Soviet as well as pre-Revolutionary professions"