Moments of Truth: Four Creators of Modern Medicine / Edition 1

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The nineteenth century saw the transformation of medicine and surgery from the treatment of unexplained symptoms based on ancient lore and skilled butchery into the science-based profession that we would recognise today. The change was brought about not by a series of random events but by the effort of a few individuals who experienced a moment of truth and who fought, often against fierce resistance, to have that truth generally recognised.

In this compelling narrative Thomas Dormandy takes the reader from revolutionary France, through imperial Austria and Victorian England, to the United States of the early twentieth century. He describes with compassion and insight the, often tragic, lives of individuals who fought with extraordinary determination to relieve suffering and to save lives.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"it is very readable."(The Camden New Journal, 25 March 2004)

" an enjoyable book". (Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, March 2004)

"very readable". (Islington Tribune, 26 March 2004)

"original and absorbing, quirky and engaging writing style, warmly recommend it as a biography, history, and a cracking good read". (Bulletin of the Royal College of Pathologists, July 2004)

"I enjoyed this book. The life-and-death business of medicine is well- nigh irresistible". (Nature, 26th August 2004)

“…removes some of the fearsome mystique surrounding the issue…” (Fraserburgh Herald, 22nd April 2005)

“…a pleasure to read…fresh and stimulating, judicious but unafraid of bracing judgement.” (Endeavour, Vol.29, No.2, June 2005)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470863213
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/9/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 5.59 (w) x 8.86 (h) x 1.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Dormandy is a retired consultant pathologist (MD, DSc, FRCS, FRCPath). He is the author of over 300 scientific papers as well as two books aimed at a general readership, The White Death, a history of tuberculosis (short-listed for the Aventis Prize) and Old Masters, a work of art history.

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Table of Contents



I. Laennec and the Stethoscope.

II. Semmelweis and Childbed Fever.

III. Lister and Antiseptic Surgery.

IV. Reed and the Control of Epidemics.





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