Dr. Peter Rhee releases book “Trauma Red”

    May 28, 2014 @ 12:30 am – May 29, 2014 @ 2:00 am
    UA Bookstores, SUMC
    1209 East University Boulevard
    The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721


    Join Mayor Jonathan Rothschild at UA BookStores, SUMC on May 27th at 5:30pm as we celebrate the pre-release of Dr. Peter Rhee’s memoir, TRAUMA RED: The Making of a Surgeon in War and in America’s Cities (Scribner; June 3, 2014).This event is free and open to the public.

    The incredible life story of the trauma surgeon who helped save Congresswoman Gabby Giffords­—from his upbringing in South Korea and Africa to the gripping dramas he faces in a typical day as a medical genius.

    Congresswoman Gabby Giffords is a household name: most people remember that awful day in Arizona in 2011 when she was a victim of an act of violence that left six dead and thirteen wounded. What many people don’t know is that it was Dr. Peter Rhee who played a vital role in her survival.

    Born in South Korea, Rhee moved with his family to Uganda where he watched his public health surgeon father remove a spear from a man’s belly—and began his lifelong interest in medicine. What came next is this compelling portrait of how one becomes a world class trauma surgeon: the specialized training, the mindset to make critical decisions, and the practiced ability to operate on the human body. Dr. Rhee is so eminent that when President Clinton traveled to China, he was selected to accompany the president as his personal physician. In Trauma Red we learn how Rhee’s experiences were born from the love and sacrifices of determined parents, and of Rhee’s own quest to become as excellent a surgeon as possible.

    Trauma Red chronicles the patient cases Dr. Rhee has handled over two decades on two distinct battle fronts: In Iraq and Afghanistan, where he served as a frontline US Navy surgeon trying to save young American soldiers, and the urban zones of Los Angeles and Washington, DC, where he has been confronted by an endless stream of bloody victims of civilian violence and accidents. Tough and outspoken, Dr. Rhee isn’t afraid to take on the politics of violence in America and a medical community that too often resists innovation. His story provides an inside look into a fascinating medical world, a place where lives are saved every day.

    Item: 147672729

    Price: $28.00


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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


    1. Mayor Rothschild gave a brief bio of Dr. Rhee, saying the “extraordinary had become ordinary” and vice versa in this autobiography. Then Dr. Rhee spoke candidly about growing up in Uganda till they were forced to emigrate to the US, and his dilemma to become either a pilot or doctor (like his father). He read from his book about the MASH unit he was in in Iraq operating on Marines during combat. One of the areas he is exploring is research in suspended animation (working on freezing pigs & later bringing them back to life) with no memory loss. He ended by explaining why “today is a good day”. In attendance a # of notables: former Mayor Bob Walkup, former UA basketball coach Lute Olson, Congressman Ron Barber, 1/8/11 victim Pam Simon, & hero Patricia Maisch, and Star cartoonist David Fitzsimmons.


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