"Elisa Becker takes a broad perspective. Instead of looking for new Western-style patterns in post-emancipation Russia (like 'free' professions), she emphasizes the persistence of traditions dating back to the time of Tzar Peter I. This perspective makes sense for her field of research - jurists, and especially physicians. Becker has organized her book into chronological chapters that go well beyond a simple comparison of the pre-reform and post-reform contribution of physicians to forensic medicine, adding a detailed reading of the new judicial laws in between. The reforms are not presented as a cataclysm, but as a challenge the medical personnel mastered. Many exciting points she makes in passing - like the specific Russian culture of objectivity - will excite specialists of the history of medicine."