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This Very Short Introduction explores the history of Western medicine, examining the key turning points, discoveries, and controversies in its rich history from classical times to the present.
From man's first exploration of natural materials and their transformations to today's materials science, chemistry has always been the central discipline that underpins both the physical and biological sciences, as well as technology. In this Very Short Introduction, William H. Brock traces the unique appeal of this fundamental science throughout history. Covering alchemy, early-modern chemistry, pneumatic chemistry and Lavoisier's re-interpretation of chemical change, the rise of organic and physical chemistry, and the transforming power of synthesis, Brock explores the extraordinary and often puzzling transformations of natural and artificial materials, as well as the men and women who experimented, speculated, and explained matter and change. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
In this 'Very Short Introduction', Rob Boddice explores the history, culture, and medical science of pain. Charting the shifting meanings of pain across time and place, he focusses on how the experience and treatment of pain have changed. He describes historical hierarchies of pain experience that related pain to social class and race, and the privileging of human states of pain over that of other animals. From the pain concepts of classical antiquity to expressions of pain in contemporary art, and modern medical approaches to the understanding, treatment, and management of pain, Boddice weaves a multifaceted account of this central human experience. Ranging from neuroscientific innovations in experimental medicine to the constructionist arguments of social scientists, pain is shown to resist a timeless definition. Pain is physical and emotional, of body and mind, and is always experienced subjectively and contextually.
In this lively, learned, and wholly engrossing volume, F. González-Crussi presents a brief yet authoritative five-hundred-year history of the science, the philosophy, and the controversies of modern medicine. While this illuminating work mainly explores Western medicine over the past five centuries, González-Crussi also describes how modern medicine’s roots extend to both Greco-Roman antiquity and Eastern medical traditions. Covered here in engaging detail are the birth of anatomy and the practice of dissections; the transformation of surgery from a gruesome art to a sophisticated medical specialty; a short history of infectious diseases; the evolution of the diagnostic process; advances in obstetrics and anesthesia; and modern psychiatric therapies and the challenges facing organized medicine today. González-Crussi’s approach to these and other topics stems from his professed belief that the history of medicine isn’t just a continuum of scientific achievement but is deeply influenced by the personalities of the men and women who made or implemented these breakthroughs. And, as we learn, this field’s greatest practitioners were, like the rest of us, human beings with flaws, weaknesses, and limitations–including some who were scoundrels. Insightful, informed, and at times controversial in its conclusions, A Short History of Medicine offers an exceptional introduction to the major and many minor facets of its subject. Written by a renowned author and educator, this book gives us the very essence of humankind’s search to mitigate suffering, save lives, and unearth the mysteries of the human animal. Praise for F. González-Crussi “What Oliver Sacks does for the mind, González-Crussi [does] for the eye in this captivating set of philosophical meditations on the relationship between the viewer and the viewed.” –Publishers Weekly, on On Seeing “[González-Crussi fuses] science, literature, and personal history into highly civilized artifacts.” –The Washington Post, on There Is a World Elsewhere From the Hardcover edition.
Newton's contributions to an understanding of the heavens and the earth are considered to be unparalleled. This very short introduction explains his scientific theories, and uses Newton's unpublished writings to paint a picture of an extremely complex man whose beliefs had a huge impact on Europe's political, intellectual, and religious landscape.
"Andrew Scull examines the social, historical, and culturally variable response to madness over the centuries, providing a provocative and entertaining examination of mental illness over more than two millennia."--P. [2] of cover.

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