Norman Gevitz focuses on the philosophy, teaching, and practice of osteopathy, as well as its impact on the medical community. He describes the theories underlying the use of spinal manipulation developed by osteopathy's founder, Andrew Taylor Still; traces the movement's early success despite heated opposition from the orthodox medical community; details the internal struggles to broaden osteopathy's scope to include the full range of pharmaceuticals and surgery; recounts the efforts of osteopathic colleges to achieve parity with institutions granting M.D. degrees; and looks at the continuing effort by its practitioners to achieve greater recognition and visibility. Gevitz also examines such significant events as the formation of the American Osteopathic Association and teh amalgamation of California D.O.'s with the orthodox medical establishment in the early 1960s.