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Between Flesh and Steel: A History of Military Medicine from the Middle Ages to the War in Afghanistan [Hardcover]

Richard A. Gabriel

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Book Description

31 Jan 2013
Over the last five centuries, the development of modern weapons and warfare has created an entirely new set of challenges for practitioners in the field of military medicine. Between Flesh and Steel traces the historical development of military medicine from the Middle Ages to modern times. Between Flesh and Steel is the most comprehensive book on the market about the evolution of modern military medicine. This compelling, thoroughly researched volume will be welcomed by general readers and academics alike.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc; 1 edition (31 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612344208
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612344201
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 16.1 x 3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 507,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


With this latest addition to his already impressive list of books, Richard Gabriel, the most prolific military historian of his generation, writes with his usual insight, eloquence, and attention to detail about an oft-neglected aspect of the history of armed conflict: the development of military medicine and its contributions to the revolution in medical science. In doing so, he has produced what must be regarded as the definitive treatment of the subject, one from which historians, medical practitioners, and general readers will learn much. A very valuable book that is highly recommended. Steve Weingartner, coauthor of "Faithful Warriors: A Combat Marine Remembers the Pacific War"

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A slow start 27 Nov 2013
By John Miller - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The first major portion of this book speaks mostly of technological advances of warfare, and not the treatment of war wounds and injuries. Makes for a slow read for someone who bought the book to read about medical care and really doesn't need a history lesson.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent addition to medical history or military history library 20 May 2014
By Linda Ruholl - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This volume is a well-done survey of military medicine as it evolved in Europe, Russia and the United States. The tables summarizing battle mortality statistics would be useful to anyone establishing context for a particular era. The reader will find a highly readable synopsis of Civil War Union Army mortality and morbidity statistics on pages 163-173. The marked contrasts in field hygiene noted in Chapters 2, 3 and 6 explain much about variance in disease-related mortality across nations. The one thing I would like to have seen, and did not find, was a discussion of the impact of military medicine decisions on medical ethics.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Readable, Informative, and Insightful Look at the Rise of Modern Military Medicine 1 July 2014
By A. A. Nofi - Published on
A summary of the review on StrategyPage.Com:

'Gabriel opens with a quick survey of trends in the nature of warfare since the mid-fifteenth century, with gunpowder marking the beginning of “modern” war. The next six chapters cover developments in military medicine more or less century-by-century, since the mid-fifteenth century. This is primarily the story of how physicians and surgeons, as well as military bureaucrats, sought ways to cope with changes in the nature of the injuries that gunpowder weapons could inflict and to improve the health of increasingly larger armies, a process rooted in the revival of empiricism in the Renaissance. But Gabriel is not confined by this chronological approach. His account roams back and forth through history, often reminding us of the “lost” medical practices of Classical Antiquity or other periods. He crosses borders at will to compare and contrast developments in different armies and cultures over the ages, and he closes with some reflections on warfare. Full of often grim statistics, and populated by some interesting, occasionally amusing characters, Between Flesh and Steel is a worthwhile read for anyone with an interest in history.'

For the full review, see StrategyPage.Com
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