Circumcision: A History of the World's Most Controversial Surgery

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Basic Books, 2000 - Medical - 253 pages
From the extraordinarily painful initiation rite of the ancient Egyptians, through the Hebrew purification ritual, through its use by nineteenth-century doctors as prevention for ailments including bedwetting, paralysis, and epilepsy, circumcision has had a long and varied history. Perhaps the greatest mystery, however, is its persistence over time through vastly different social contexts.Historian of medicine David Gollaher takes a comprehensive look at the practice in this lively, scholarly history. Circumcision also addresses the growing controversy over the procedure’s continuance, and those opposing routine circumcision will find support here. Gollaher concludes that “if male circumcision were confined to developing nations, it would by now have emerged as an international cause célèbre.”

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CIRCUMCISION: A History of the World's Most Controversial Surgery

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Circumcision has never been so enjoyable. Gollaher (Voice for the Mad: The Life of Dorothea Dix, 1995) offers a fascinating and comprehensive history of the most common surgical procedure in the US ... Read full review

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Very informative and scholarly summary of circumcision. A must-read for anyone interested in the history of circumcision.


The Jewish Tradition
Chapter2 Christians and Muslims
Symbolic Wo unds

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About the author (2000)

Gollaher is President and CEO of the California Healthcare Institute.

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