The Cambridge Illustrated History of Medicine / Edition 1

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Overview

The Cambridge Illustrated History of Medicine examines, through popular and professional perception, the history and interrelation of disease, health and medicine over more than two thousands years. Readers can trace the chronological story of key developments and events in medical history from antiquity onwards, while at the same time engaging with the issues, discoveries and controversies that have beset and characterized medical progress. The book weaves a connective narrative that gives equal weight to disease and to doctors, to scientific medicine and to society, to patients and to practitioners. An important feature of the volume its rich and extensive coverage of the past hundred and fifty years - a critical era in the development of medicine. Particular emphasis is placed throughout The Cambridge Illustrated History of Medicine on the complex functions that medicine has fulfilled in society, and on the shifting and often ambiguous meanings of sickness. It puts into historical context modern developments and anxieties: the patient-doctor relationship, the nature of medical and clinic advances, and how health care is administered. Ranging from the Hippocratic Oath to present-day medical ethics, from leeches to laser surgery, this book offers a definitive guide to its subject, supplemented by valuable reference material on Nobel Prize winners, the spread of selected diseases, and medical personalities. There is a chronology of events and a table of the major infectious diseases.

The book contains predominantly black-and-white illustrations, with some color illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

David J. Rothman
This book, edited by the distinguished English historian Roy Porter, is a lavishly presented and clearly narrated account of the major transformations that mark the rise and course of western scientific medicine. It is intended to present a survey of western medicine. Written for the educated layman rather than the professional historian or well-read physician, the book covers a wide range of subjects, including the history of modern diseases (especially contagious diseases), medical pioneers, and therapeutic discoveries. The opening chapters on the history of disease and the rise of medicine devote substantial attention to the ancient period; subsequent chapters are more thematic in approach, addressing such issues as the rise of the hospital and its links to surgery, mental illness, and health care policy. Although there are frequent references to American and continental developments, not surprisingly, English events are at the heart of these pages. Although the introduction promises that this history of medicine will not be a standard celebration of medical progress and how medical technology pushed back the frontiers of death, the anticipation is not fulfilled. Roy Porter aptly observes that medicine's many successes have brought it substantial criticism from the public; indeed, ""medicine may appear to be losing its way."" But the chapters themselves, with only a few exceptions, devote most of their attention to stories of conquest, not to the root causes of the contemporary discomfort with the profession. Moreover, the thematic quality of the chapters, many of them tracing their subject matter from pre-modern to contemporary times, leaves readers without a secure sense oflinks among the parts and without a firm grasp of an overall chronology. These points notwithstanding, there is a mine of information here, all of it accessible to the reader, and the pictorial accompaniments to the text are superb. To browse through the pages is both enjoyable and rewarding. A physician or patient who wants a responsible and handsome survey of the field will be very pleased to have this book.
School Library Journal
YAArranged thematically, this resource traces the evolution of the constantly changing realm of medicine and makes parallels with other events of the era. Each essay is written by an expert in the field. While there are several references to the bubonic plague (although only under "plague, bubonic" and "black death"), there are no entries for medicine during the Civil War. The Ebola virus is mentioned in the chronology, but it is not discussed within the text. While the concentration is on traditional Western medicine, some alternative forms such as homeopathy and acupuncture are included. Boxed inserts cover related events or diseases. The numerous illustrations and photographs are precisely captioned. In addition to the page citation, the helpful glossary gives the birth and death dates for medical personalities, as well as their nationality and medical specialty.Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
From The Critics
The aim of this textbook is to set the major changes of the practice of medicine in their historical context. Authors trace the tradition as it arose out of Ancient Greece, examine the transformations stimulated by the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution, and consider the advances of the 19th century. Further topics include drug treatment and the rise of pharmacology; mental illness; medicine, society, and the state; and future trends. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: David J. Rothman, PhD (Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons)
Description: This book, edited by the distinguished English historian Roy Porter, is a lavishly presented and clearly narrated account of the major transformations that mark the rise and course of western scientific medicine.
Purpose: It is intended to present a survey of western medicine.
Audience: Written for the educated layman rather than the professional historian or well-read physician, the book covers a wide range of subjects, including the history of modern diseases (especially contagious diseases), medical pioneers, and therapeutic discoveries.
Features: The opening chapters on the history of disease and the rise of medicine devote substantial attention to the ancient period; subsequent chapters are more thematic in approach, addressing such issues as the rise of the hospital and its links to surgery, mental illness, and health care policy. Although there are frequent references to American and continental developments, not surprisingly, English events are at the heart of these pages. Although the introduction promises that this history of medicine will not be a standard celebration of medical progress and how medical technology pushed back the frontiers of death, the anticipation is not fulfilled. Roy Porter aptly observes that medicine's many successes have brought it substantial criticism from the public; indeed, "medicine may appear to be losing its way." But the chapters themselves, with only a few exceptions, devote most of their attention to stories of conquest, not to the root causes of the contemporary discomfort with the profession. Moreover, the thematic quality of the chapters, many of them tracing their subject matter from pre-modern to contemporary times, leaves readers without a secure sense of links among the parts and without a firm grasp of an overall chronology.
Assessment: These points notwithstanding, there is a mine of information here, all of it accessible to the reader, and the pictorial accompaniments to the text are superb. To browse through the pages is both enjoyable and rewarding. A physician or patient who wants a responsible and handsome survey of the field will be very pleased to have this book.
From the Publisher
"This distinguished book should be shared with students and colleagues and just enjoyed by its owner." The New England Journal of Medicine

"This book provides a comprehensive, authoritative presentation of the development of Western medical practice to the present day...The book is filled with vivid illustrations...The information presented is accurate, and the scope of the book is vast...I recommend this volume highly." SB&F

"We have come to expect from the Cambridge Illustrated History series informative and elegantly produced volumes, and this one on the history of medicine lives up to expectations....What particularly distinguishes this book are its illustrations and their captions. They are exceedingly well chosen and reproduced....a handsome volume...." Isis


3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521002523
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2001
  • Series: Cambridge Illustrated Histories Series
  • Edition description: First Paperback Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 7.99 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Roy Porter is Professor in the Social History of Medicine at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, London, and has taught previously at the University of Cambridge and at UCLA. Among his many influential books in the field are Mind Forg'd Manacles: Madness in England from the Restoration to the Regency; A Social History of Madness; Health for Sale: Quackery in England, 1660–1850; Doctor of Society: Thomas Beddoes and the Sick Trade in Late Enlightenment England; London: A Social History; and (co-authored with Dorothy Porter) In Sickness and in Health: the British Experience, 1650–1850 and Patient's Progress.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 6
1 The history of disease 16
2 The rise of medicine 52
3 What is disease? 82
4 Primary care 118
5 Medical science 154
6 Hospitals and surgery 202
7 Drug treatment and the rise in pharmacology 246
8 Mental illness 278
9 Medicine, society, and the state 304
10 Looking to the future 342
Chronology 374
Major human diseases 378
Notes 380
Further reading 383
Index of medical personalities 387
General index 394
Picture acknowledgements 400
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