The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: A Medical History of Humanity (The Norton History of Science)

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W. W. Norton & Company, Oct 17, 1999 - Medical - 872 pages
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"To combine enormous knowledge with a delightful style and a highly idiosyncratic point of view is Roy Porter's special gift, and it makes [this] book . . . alive and fascinating and provocative on every page."—Oliver Sacks, M.D.

Hailed as "a remarkable achievement" (Boston Sunday Globe) and as "a triumph: simultaneously entertaining and instructive, witty and thought-provoking . . . a splendid and thoroughly engrossing book" (Los Angeles Times), Roy Porter's charting of the history of medicine affords us an opportunity as never before to assess its culture and science and its costs and benefits to mankind. Porter explores medicine's evolution against the backdrop of the wider religious, scientific, philosophical, and political beliefs of the culture in which it develops, covering ground from the diseases of the hunter-gatherers to today's threat of AIDS and ebola, from the clearly defined conviction of the Hippocratic oath to the muddy ethical dilemmas of modern-day medicine. Offering up a treasure trove of historical surprises along the way, this book "has instantly become the standard single-volume work in its field" (The Lancet). "The author's perceptiveness is, as usual, scalpel-sharp; his manner genially bedside; his erudition invigorating." - Simon Schama
 

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Contents

XIV From Pasteur to Penicillin
428
XV Tropical Medicine World Diseases
462
XVI Psychiatry
493
XVII Medical Research
525
XVIII Clinical Science
561
XIX Surgery
597
XX Medicine State and Society
628
XXI Medicine and the People
668

IX The New Science
201
X Enlightenment
245
XI Scientific Medicine in the Nineteenth Century
304
XII NineteenthCentury Medical Care
348
XIII Public Medicine
397
XXII The Past the Present and the Future
710
FURTHER READING
719
INDEX
765
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Roy Porter (1946—2002) was professor of the history of medicine at University College, London. His books include Blood and Guts, The Creation of the Modern World, Flesh in the Age of Reason, and The Greatest Benefit to Mankind, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award.

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