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The History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

The History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) [Kindle Edition]

William Bynum
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Against the backdrop of unprecedented concern for the future of health care, this Very Short Introduction surveys the history of medicine from classical times to the present. Focussing on the key turning points in the history of Western medicine, such as the advent of hospitals and the rise of experimental medicine, Bill Bynum offers insights into medicine's past, while at the same time engaging with contemporary issues, discoveries, and controversies.

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.

About the Author

W. F. Bynum is Professor Emeritus of the history of medicine at the Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London. He is the author of Science and the Practice of Medicine in the Nineteenth Century and the Oxford Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (1994). He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and of Edinburgh.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1034 KB
  • Print Length: 144 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (31 July 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005EEHMX0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #149,526 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what the doctor had prescribed 21 May 2011
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 500 REVIEWER
Medicine is one of those things that most of us give little thought until we get sick. And then we only think of it in terms of practical considerations - which doctor to go to, how to deal with the medical condition that we have. However, as both a practical and intellectual discipline medicine has a very long tradition. The western medicine, which is the main subject of this very short introduction, is usually considered to begin with Hippocrates. Hippocrates, however, was not a single individual, but probably the founder of the school of medicine to which many have contributed their works over the course of couple of centuries. This book starts with those contributions and continues to explore major advances in medicine up to the present times. It covers all main branches of medicine, and shows how they became increasingly interdependent over the course of history. The book is very informative and its greatest strength is the elucidation of the great improvements in medicine that most of us take for granted now. Just a generation ago, for instance, bacterial infection was a major source of debilitating illness or even death. Today we are largely free of those fears, although with the advent of antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" those fearful days may come back again.

One of the books biggest strengths and weaknesses at the same time is the lack of exposure to some of the most promising recent developments in medicine. On one hand there could be more that could be said about the huge promise of genetically based medicine, but on the other hand it is to book's credit that it omits whole fields in which medical professionals have found themselves which traditionally had nothing to do with medicine. Overall, however, this is a well thought out and an incredibly readable treatment of the history of medicine.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good buy 7 Dec 2010
This book provides a good companion to any book written by Porter on the history of medicine - easy to navigate and will act as a good signpost to other more detailed texts. At the price it is a very good buy.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Slightly Disappointing 9 Feb 2011
By insider
This is an interesting attempt to summarize a complex and extensive subject. The author adopts an original approach by dividing medicine in various areas. The book certainly has some value when it comes to summarizing the field, but I found it too factual, boring and ultimately unexciting. The author's style is also rather dry, and the choices of the topics covered leave to be desired (especially when it comes to the social impact of medicine). At the end of the book we know who did what and when--but I dont think we are any wiser when it comes to having a picture of medicine's social implications and challenges.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic cover 9 July 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This small book is like the Tardis - so much packed into it. It deals with the topic in an academic and yet very readable way. This book has been invaluable in helping me to complete successfully a university-level History of Medicine course. Very comprehensive in its detail, very enlightening about dozens of notable people who have contributed to medicine through the ages. As far as developments in medicine, the book also gives you a good sense of what came before and what happened next - and the reasons for these. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin 14 Mar 2014
By Jules
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great little book that does give a very short introduction to medicine. Can't argue with that and am very satisfied
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Introduction 1 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the way this book dealt with the complex and multi-layered history of medicine. The first five chapters were very interesting, presented the topic in an original way and contained enough snippets of information to stimulate further interest in the topic area. The final chapter was a little disappointing; I was looking for a greater emphasis on 'the evidence base' being the mantra for today. In addition a number of political issues were introduced here. I was disappointed that my favourite surgeon John Hunter 1728 - 1793 was not included; please see my review of 'The Knife Man' for more information.The Knife Man: Blood, Body-snatching and the Birth of Modern Surgery
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