Physicians, Plagues and Progress

Physicians, Plagues and Progress : The History of Western Medicine from Antiquity to Antibiotics

4.33 (3 ratings by Goodreads)
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Since the dawn of time, man has sought to improve his health and that of his neighbour. The human race, around the world, has been on a long and complex journey, seeking to find out how our bodies work, and what heals them. Embarking on a four-thousand-year odyssey, science historian Allan Chapman brings to life the origin and development of medicine and surgery. Writing with pace and rigorous accuracy, he investigates how we have battled against injury and disease, and provides a gripping and highly readable account of the various victories and discoveries along the way. This is a fascinating, insightful read, enlivened with many colourful characters and memorable stories of inspired experimenters, theatrical surgeons, students pranks, body-snatchers, "mad-doctors", quacks, and charitable benefactors. "An elegant and accessible new introduction to the history of Western medicine." Caroline Rance, author of The History of Medicine in One Hundred Facts "This is medical history for the layman - and very good it is, too." Derek Wilson, historian "A comprehensive and highly compelling account" Dr Simon Atkins, author and medical practitioner "Fast-paced, insightful and engaging." Martyn Whittock, historian Allan Chapman teaches the history of science at the University of Oxford, and is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. His many other books include Slaying the Dragons - destroying myths in the history of science and faith; Stargazers: Copernicus, Galileo, the Telescope and the Church, (both published by Lion Hudson).
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Product details

  • Paperback | 544 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 47mm | 702g
  • Lion Books
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0745970397
  • 9780745970394
  • 1,626,229

Review quote

"'Using clarity of structure and a warm, engaging style, Allan Chapman brings us an elegant and accessible new introduction to the history of Western medicine." -- Caroline Rance Author of The History of Medicine in One Hundred Facts "This is medical history for the layman - and very good it is, too. Chapman's coverage is, as we have come to expect, comprehensive, covering everything that has contributed to the knowledge and treatment of physical and mental disorders. Highly recommended." -- Derek Wilson historian and author of Mrs Luther and her sisters, The People's Bible etc "This thoroughly enjoyable book provides a comprehensive and highly compelling account of the way in which the pioneers of western medicine have, with equal measures of luck and judgement, driven its development from what was once no more than glorified sorcery to its current place as an established cutting edge science." -- Dr Simon Atkins author and medical practitioner "This is a fascinating and comprehensive tour of the history of medicine and health care from prehistory to the modern world. This detailed overview of thousands of years of medical history is constantly brought to life through fascinating and arresting examples. It also reveals the complex interaction of different religious and scientific concepts and outlooks across time, and the role of technological advance in making progress possible. In each stage of the development of medical practice we are led to see how it interacted with the wider social context of the time and the mind-sets of those involved. Fast-paced, insightful and engaging." -- Martyn Whittock author and historian
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About Allan Chapman

Allan Chapman teaches History of Science at the University of Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and author of ten books, including Gods in the Sky and Robert Hooke and the English Renaissance, Slaying the Dragons and Stargazers. He has appeared in history of science documentaries on BBC2, Channels 4 and 5, and National Geographic, as well as appearing on BBC TV's `Sky at Night' programme.
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Rating details

3 ratings
4.33 out of 5 stars
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4 67% (2)
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