Spreading Germs

Spreading Germs : Disease Theories and Medical Practice in Britain, 1865-1900

3.33 (3 ratings by Goodreads)
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Spreading Germs discusses how modern ideas on the bacterial causes of communicable diseases were constructed and spread within the British medical profession in the last third of the nineteenth century. Michael Worboys surveys many existing interpretations of this pivotal moment in modern medicine. He shows that there were many germ theories of disease, and that these were developed and used in different ways across veterinary medicine, surgery, public health and general medicine. The growth of bacteriology is considered in relation to the evolution of medical practice rather than as a separate science of germs.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 348 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 20mm | 510g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 3 Tables, unspecified; 16 Halftones, unspecified
  • 0521034477
  • 9780521034470
  • 1,697,785

Table of contents

Illustrations; Abbreviations; Preface; Introduction; 1. Medical practice and disease theories, c.1865; 2. Veterinary medicine, the cattle plague and contagion, 1865-90; 3. Germs in the air: surgeons, hospitalism and sepsis, c.1865-76; 4. 'Something definite to guide you in your sanitary precautions': sanitary science, poisons and contagium viva, 1866-80; 5. 'Deeper than the surface of the wound': surgeons antisepsis and asepsis, 1876-1900; 6. From heredity to infection: tuberculosis, bacteriology and medicine, 1870-1900; 7. Preventive medicine and the 'bacteriological era'; Conclusion; Select bibliography; Index.
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Review quote

"Overall, Worboys's monograph is a challenging and extremely readable medical history of germs. It will be essential reading for students taking history of medicine programs." William H. Brock, Isis "...the book reveals - and re-defines - a fascinating international picture of evolving germ theories involving complex interactions between scientific theoreticians and medical and veterinary practitioners...I would recommend this as essential reading for anyone with an interest in the history of biomedical science and public health." Nursing History Review "In Spreading Germs, Worboys deepens and clarifies our understanding of biomedical science, both on its own terms and in its larger sociopolitical context." Perspectives in Biology and Medicine "...a competent, scholarly presentation of its subject..." Albion "Worboys has provided a significant piece of scholarship as he considers the relationship between changing disease theory and medical practice. It is a great addition to the history of medicine, and could well be instuctive to historians of any field." Journal of World History
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Rating details

3 ratings
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