Mavericks, Miracles, and Medicine: The Pioneers Who Risked Their Lives to Bring Medicine Into the Modern Age

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Basic Books, 2004 - Medical - 304 pages
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Mavericks, Miracles, and Medicine brings to life stories of the pioneering geniuses, eccentrics, and free thinkers who moved beyond the conventions of their day at great personal risk—often with tragic results—to push forward the boundaries of modern medicine. From Werner Forssmann, who was so confident in his theory that doctors could insert a catheter into a human heart for diagnostic purposes that he inserted one into his own heart, while watching on a live X-ray (and was basically thrown out of the profession, only to be awarded the Nobel Prize just before his death many years later), to Anton Von Leewenhoek, a draper and part-time janitor who discovered the existence of protozoa, bacteria, sperm, and blood cells; from Wilhelm Roentgen, who developed the X-ray machine in his basement with a single cathode ray and some cardboard, to Jean-Baptiste Denis, who gave the first-known blood transfusion (with sheep’s blood) and was later charged with murder (on manufactured evidence). Mavericks, Miracles, and Medicine is populated with the heretics and visionaries who forever changed medical science, and is featured on the History Channel miniseries of the same name.

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Mavericks, miracles, and medicine: the pioneers who risked their lives to bring medicine into the modern age

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Fenster, whose previous book, Ether Day, told the story of the discovery of anesthesia, here writes engagingly about the persecuted pioneers behind some of medicine's greatest achievements. Some of ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Julie M. Fenster is an author and historian

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