The Discovery of the Germ: Twenty Years That Transformed The Way We Think About Disease / Edition 1

The Discovery of the Germ: Twenty Years That Transformed The Way We Think About Disease / Edition 1

by John Waller
     
 

ISBN-10: 023113150X

ISBN-13: 9780231131506

Pub. Date: 10/15/2003

Publisher: Columbia University Press

From the time of Hippocrates to that of Louis Pasteur, the medical profession relied on plausible but almost wholly mistaken ideas about the causes of and best treatments for infectious illness. Bleeding, purging, and mysterious nostrums remained staple remedies, and surgeons, often wearing filthy butcher's aprons, blithely spread infection from patient to patient.

…  See more details below

Overview

From the time of Hippocrates to that of Louis Pasteur, the medical profession relied on plausible but almost wholly mistaken ideas about the causes of and best treatments for infectious illness. Bleeding, purging, and mysterious nostrums remained staple remedies, and surgeons, often wearing filthy butcher's aprons, blithely spread infection from patient to patient. Then between 1879 and 1900 came the germ revolution. After two decades of scientific virtuosity, outstanding feats of intellectual courage, bitter personal rivalries, and a large dose of good fortune, doctors came to realize infectious diseases are caused by microscopic organisms. The discovery of the germ led to safe surgery, large-scale vaccination programs, dramatic improvements in hygiene and sanitation, and the pasteurization of dairy products. Above all, it set the stage for the emergence of antibiotic medicine.

John Waller provides insight into twenty years in the history of medicine that profoundly changed the way we view disease. He shows how the germ revolution was made possible not only by the risk taking and raw ambition of several brilliant late-century pioneers, but also by the groundwork—including mistakes and near misses—of earlier generations of scientists. Rich in human drama, The Discovery of the Germ charts how, why, and by whom germ theory was transformed from a hotly disputed speculation to a central tenet of modern medicine. It examines the ideas and experiments of the giants of microbiology, Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch, as well as less well known figures such as Casimir-Joseph Davaine, Waldemar Haffkine, and Almroth Wright.

Columbia University Press

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231131506
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
10/15/2003
Series:
Revolutions in Science Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
200
Sales rank:
1,208,587
Product dimensions:
4.82(w) x 7.02(h) x 0.66(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Introduction: Revolutionary1
Pt. IBefore the Germ7
1The World According to William Brownrigg9
Pt. IIThe Germs of Revolution, 500 B.C.-1850 A.D.23
2Arsenals of Death25
3Contagious Effluvia30
4Leeuwenhock's 'Little Animals'36
5Revolutionary in Paris43
6Dirt, Disease and Decay51
7The End of the Beginning66
Pt. IIICue, Louis Pasteur73
8Two Duels75
9The English Disciple89
Pt. IVWorms, Chickens and Sheep95
10The Plight of the Silkworm97
11Anthrax103
Pt. VKoch's Postulates121
121881: Potatoes and Postulates123
Pt. VIThe Four Big Ones, 1881-1899133
13The White Plague135
14Cholera, Suez and Pettenkofer144
15Pasteur's Gatekeeper160
16Typhoid Fever173
Conclusion: A New Science187
Bibliography and Further Reading193

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >