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

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Basic Books, Feb 7, 2001 - History - 253 pages
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This worldwide history of circumcision, from ancient times to the present, looks at the procedure as initiation, religious and social ritual, and indicator of ethnic and social status. How has a medical practice that carries substantial risk to the patient and offers very little actual benefit become so widely accepted by parents and fiercely advocated by the medical community? Historian of medicine David Gollaher tells the strange history of medicine's oldest enigma and most persistent ritual. From the extraordinarily painful initiation rite of the ancient Egyptians, through the Hebrew purification ritual, through circumcision's use by the rising medical community in the 19th century as prevention for ailments ranging from bedwetting to paralysis, the great mystery has been the persistence of the practice through vastly different social contexts.
 

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Review: Circumcision: A History Of The World's Most Controversial Surgery

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Very interesting and horrifying. Read full review

Review: Circumcision: A History Of The World's Most Controversial Surgery

User Review  - Goodreads

Damn. This was a really interesting book. Left me feeling like circumcision is indeed pretty fucked up. I miss my foreskin. Read full review

Contents

Cha ptcr 1 The jewish Tradition
53
Chapter4 From Rrtual to Science
73
Chaptcr5 The Fabric of the Foreskin
109
Chapter7 Backlash
161
Chapter8 Female Circumcision
187
Evaluative Research and
209
Index
241
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About the author (2001)

Dr. Gollaher is President and CEO of the California Healthcare Institute and the author of Voice for the Mad: The Life of Dorothea Dix. He lives in San Diego, California.

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