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A tour de force.This book has to be amongst the best books to understand what pain is all about. The author has made painstaking efforts to understand pain from the time of the ancient greeks to modern times. His knowledge about and command of the many traditions from religion to philosophy to medicine to modern culture makes this a must have for those wanting to understand pain from a historical and cultural perspective. In addition, the person in pain can learn from the many insights throughout history that the author shares.