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 - Family & Relationships - 831 pages
13 Reviews

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

User Review  - Harkks - Goodreads

A great introduction to the history of Medicine - worth a read for the DHMSA History of Medicine Course Read full review

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

User Review  - Justin - Goodreads

In a word--DENSE. It was a 'good dense' in that it covered just about everything you could ever want to know about the subject. At times a slow read, but definitely worth working through. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
3
1i The Roots of Medicine
14
1n Antiquity
44
Medicine and Faith
83
The Medieval West 1 06
106
Indian Medicine
135
vn Chinese Medicine
147
VIH Renaissance
163
From Pasteur to Penicillin
428
Tropical Medicine World Diseases
462
Psychiatry
493
xvn Medical Research
525
xvin Clinical Science
561
x1x Surgery
597
xx1 Medicine and the People
668
xxn The Past the Present and the Future
710

1x The New Science
201
Scientific Medicine in the Nineteenth Century
304
x11 NineteenthCentury Medical Care
348
x111 Public Medicine
397
FURTHER READING
719
INDEX
765
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

The late Roy Porter was professor in the social history of medicine at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College, London. His books include Blood and Guts and Flesh in the Age of Reason.

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