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Blood and Guts: A Short History of Medicine
"Chock-full of astonishing facts and fascinating illustrations."-BooklistAn eminently readable, entertaining romp through the history of our vain and valiant efforts to heal ourselves. Mankind's battle to stay alive and healthy for as long as possible is our oldest, most universal struggle. With his characteristic wit and vastly informed historical scope, Roy Porter examines the war fought between disease and doctors on the battleground of the flesh from ancient times to the present. He explores the many ingenious ways in which we have attempted to overcome disease through the ages: the changing role of doctors, from ancient healers, apothecaries, and blood-letters to today's professionals; the array of drugs, from Ayurvedic remedies to the launch of Viagra; the advances in surgery, from amputations performed by barbers without anesthetic to today's sophisticated transplants; and the transformation of hospitals from Christian places of convalescence to modern medical powerhouses. Cleverly illustrated with historic line drawings, the chronic ailments of humanity provide vivid anecdotes for Porter's enlightening story of medicine's efforts to prevail over a formidable and ever-changing adversary.
"Porter weaves together...plenty of anecdotes and illustrations with an easy, informal writing style." - Booklist "For insatiable appetites, Porter wrote The Greatest Benefit to Mankind. For the rest of us, there's this little gem." - Columbus Dispatch "An informative introduction to an important subject by one of the outstanding scholars of his generation." - Biology Digest "In reading Blood and Guts, and then going back to The Greatest History of Mankind, I realize that these two books together introduce a novel perspective on the uses of history, one that is as uniquely contemporary as it is essential." - The New Republic "[C]hock-full of astonishing facts and fascinating illustrations.... Surprisingly light and lively." - Kirkus Reviews "A short, brilliant survey of medicine-its blood and guts-from antiquity to today." - Richmond Times-Dispatch "A delightful and informative introduction to an important subject by one of the outstanding scholars of his generation." - New England Journal of Medicine
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W. W. Norton & Company
October 07, 2013
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