Medicine's 10 Greatest Discoveries

Medicine's 10 Greatest Discoveries

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by Meyer Friedman, Gerald W. Friedland
     
 

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This absorbing book is the first to describe monumental medical discoveries throughout history, bringing to life the scientific pioneers responsible for them and the excitement, frustrations, and jealousies that surrounded the final achievements. Two distinguished physicians, Meyer Friedman and Gerald W. Friedland, have drawn on their many years of experience as well… See more details below

Overview

This absorbing book is the first to describe monumental medical discoveries throughout history, bringing to life the scientific pioneers responsible for them and the excitement, frustrations, and jealousies that surrounded the final achievements. Two distinguished physicians, Meyer Friedman and Gerald W. Friedland, have drawn on their many years of experience as well as on that of world-renowned antiquarian book dealers, physician collectors of old and new medical publications, and medical school professors to single out these medical breakthroughs from thousands of candidates, and, in several cases, to provide information never before available. Their engrossing stories of the 10 most significant discoveries will be read with enjoyment by anyone fascinated by the mysteries of medicine.

Editorial Reviews

Ed Shanahan
The authors have transformed what could have been a deadly dull topic into a highly readable and laugh-out-loud-funny colleciton of medical biographies....a book rich with human elements.
Brill's Content
John Gribbin
[The authors'] selection of a 'top ten' is necessarily subjective, but they write with verve about the biographical and historical backgrounds of their chosen discoveries, including gossipy details, plenty of blood and guts, and the rough-and-tumble of the ungentlemanly struggle among scientists for priority....The book works well as something to dip into on a dull train journey and as a cover-to-cover read....Even in science, it seems, it pays to have literary style. -- Literary Review
Journal of the American Medical Association
The authors' contribution to medical history will be deservedly well received and undoubtedly stimulate readers to explore other accounts of medical advances, justification enough for it to be enthusiastically recommended.
Kirkus Reviews
An almost gossipy look of the men who made some of the most significant discoveries in Western medicine. Friedman and Friedland, two physicians whose combined careers encompass over a century of teaching and practicing medicine (Friedman discovered the effect of Type A behavior on the heart), selected their own top 10 and then had them vetted by antiquarian book dealers and physician-collectors of rare medical publications. Chronologically, the anatomical observations of Vesalius come first: his Fabrica (published in 1543) was, according to Friedman and Friedland, "so scientific that it initiated medical science itself." However, they rate Harvey's discovery of the circulation of the blood in the human body as the single most important, because it introduced the principle of experimentation in medicine. Leeuwenhoek is included as the founder of bacteriology, Jenner for introducing vaccination, Crawford Long for the initial use of surgical anesthesia, and Roentgen for discovery of the X-ray beam. Nearly unknown today are Ross Harrison, who first grew living tissue in culture outside an organism, and Nikolai Anichkov, who discovered the primary role of cholesterol in atherosclerosis. Fleming is credited with the discovery of penicillin, but Florey's role in its development is not overlooked. Similarly, the DNA story gives primary credit to Wilkins, while clarifying the role of Watson and Crick in elucidating its structure. In recounting the story of these achievements, the authors devote considerable space to the character and private lives of the men who made them. One's arrogance, another's dullness, their mistaken notions (Harvey believed in witches; Fleming thought of penicillin assimply an external germicide), their good luck and bad marriages, their ambitions—-all are revealed. The authors conclude that it is not genius so much as curiosity and the ability to conduct a methodological investigation that distinguish them. While Friedman and Friedland's list of the 10 best is sure to be questioned, their revealing portraits of notable men of science are memorable.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300082784
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
08/28/2000
Pages:
263
Sales rank:
911,696
Product dimensions:
4.96(w) x 7.73(h) x 0.74(d)

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