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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Spoonful of Sugar
Whatever they say about the ability of the Internet to provide access to knowledge, it isn't that good at bringing it together in a form that can be conveniently digested. This book delivers bite-sized chapters detailing advances in medical knowledge in an easy-to-read, jargon free manner (with a short glossary at the end to explain some of the more technical terms)...
Published on 1 Dec. 2011 by Amazon Customer

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a helpful book for reference
while this is not a book I would read cover to cover this title would be a brilliant reference book for those interested in mediecal history. The book is broken up into separate sections for each discovery and has large colourful pictures alongside them which are very informative.

certainly one I recommend for the right person
Published on 22 Nov. 2011 by Kirsty at the Overflowing Library


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Spoonful of Sugar, 1 Dec. 2011
By 
Amazon Customer - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Great Discoveries in Medicine (Hardcover)
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Whatever they say about the ability of the Internet to provide access to knowledge, it isn't that good at bringing it together in a form that can be conveniently digested. This book delivers bite-sized chapters detailing advances in medical knowledge in an easy-to-read, jargon free manner (with a short glossary at the end to explain some of the more technical terms).

Experts in various fields have written between one and four chapters each and these have been skilfully edited together by William (an American doctor turned academic) & Helen (a medical academic) Bynum such that any differences in style are smoothed out.

Each chapter is very readable, aided by the addition of fulsome illustrations that are not too graphic for the squeamish. It is a book that can just be dipped in and out of (7 headings cover 70 topics each of which can be absorbed in a few minutes) but I often found myself drawn in to continue, which is the usual sign of a good book.

Rather than being a history of medicine, various examples have been taken to offer good coverage without being exhausted. For example, there are two pages on each of penicillin, 'the Pill', the Ventolin inhaler, Statins and Beta-blockers (with a beautiful and almost Daliesque illustration on page 210). Although pitched at the level of the lay reader there is a reasonable level of detail and the writers do not patronise - this is not Janet and John stuff.

My tame zoologist informs me that, notwithstanding their biological knowledge, they think it would expand their background knowledge if I lent it to them, which I take as a hint. 'Great Discoveries' is not only suitable for the armchair reader but is the source of volume that might prove a catalyst for a younger reader deciding what they want to do in life.

In terms of production, the book has a good quality feel to the binding and comparatively heavy gloss paper. There are a lot of books out there which throw together general content and give it a title. This book gives the impression that a lot of thought and a degree of pride has been put into the making.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Book, 30 Oct. 2011
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Great Discoveries in Medicine (Hardcover)
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Ever since secondary school where we did medical history one term in our history classes, I have found the subject fascinating. I know I am not the only person who has been drawn to the subject and that there are many others out there. When I had the chance to get my paws on this then, I couldn't refuse.

A lot of us know quite a bit of medical history, whether it is about how physicians developed, or medicines, or diseases, but even if you already know a lot there is a lot more to this book. Husband and wife team William and Helen Bynum have edited here a book written with the help of numerous contributors. Within its pages it goes back to ancient history with a look at the Egyptians, Greeks, Islam and the Indians and Chinese. From there it just goes on and on, with different illnesses, different ideas, surgery, anatomy, innovations and discoveries. Taking in a whole host of diseases and different techniques of dealing with them, and the different tools that are used in medical matters, as well as psychiatry and other disciplines this book is a real cornucopia.

This is really something that you can dip in and out of, which is probably better than reading it off in one go, there is just so much to take in here. Giving basic overviews that are clearly written and concise this book is a real pleasure to look at, especially with the numerous illustrations included. This could be of help if you are studying the subject, but also ideal for anyone interested in this part of history.

This would make an ideal present for yourself, or for anyone you know who has an interest in the subject. I know that when I told my mum that I was getting this she wanted to get her grubby little mitts on it, so I may have to get her a copy as well. If you are looking for just one book on the subject, for reference, or to learn more about medical history, then you can't really go wrong with this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a fascinating resource, 13 Nov. 2011
By 
Su (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Great Discoveries in Medicine (Hardcover)
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I studied anatomy and physiology as part of my training and I found it so interesting that I kept all of my textbooks. The one area we didn't study was the history of medicine its development, as well as who discovered what and when.

This book is a great resource for anyone interested in the history of medicine.

Unlike my old textbooks, this one is packed with illustrations (382 of them, of which 342 are in colour), which isn't bad considering that there are 291 pages of information, plus a short glossary of the more complex terms used, image sources, index and contents.

What could have been page upon page of blocked text is broken by these images and, so, is less daunting for the reader.

Each of the specific areas of study has its own essay written by an expert in the field. Yet, the text isn't written in terminological block form as many texts are, instead it is written in easy to read essays, and rather than in an overly dominating manner. At the rear of the book is a section (approximately 2 pages) with extremely brief summaries (one paragraph each on average) about the contributors for those who are interested in the people who have written the essays.

The book is divided into 7 chapters, each chapter containing a number of relevant essays.

DISCOVERING THE BODY - has 10 associated essays

- Medicine of Egypt - Medicine of China - Medicine of India - Theory of Humours and Pneumas (Hippocratic medicine) - Islamic Medicine - Dissection - Pathological Anatomy - Cell Theory - Neuron Theory - Molecules

UNDERSTANDING HEALTH AND DISEASE - 11 Essays

- Circulation - Bedlam and Beyond - Milieu Interieur (equilibrium) - Germs - Parasites and Vectors - Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy - Hormones - Immunology - Genetic Revolution - Evolution of Cancer - Complementary Medicine

TOOLS OF THE TRADE - 12 Essays

- Stethoscope - Microscope - Hypodermic Syringe - Thermometer - X-Rays and Radiotherapy - Sphygmomanometer - Defibrillators - Lasers - Endoscope - Imaging the Body - Incubator - Medical Robots

BATTLING THE SOURGES - 9 Essays

- Plague - Typhus - Cholera - Puerperal Fever - Tuberculosis - Influenza - Small Pox - Polio - HIV

A PILL FOR EVERY ILL - 8 Essays

- Opium - Digitalis - Penicillin - The Pill - Drugs for the Mind - Ventolin - Beta Blockers - Statins

SURGICAL BREAKTHROUGHS - 11 Essays

- Pare and Wounds - Anaesthesia - Antisepsis and Asepsis - Blood Transfusions - Neuro Surgery - Cataract Surgery - Caesarean Section - Cardiac Surgery - Transplant Surgery - Hip Replacement Surgery - Keyhole Surgery

MEDICAL TRIUMPHS - 8 Essays

- Vaccines - Vitamins - Insulin - Dialysis - Smoking and Health - Assisted Reproduction - Pap Smear and Human Papilloma Virus - Helicobacter Pylori and Peptic Ulcer

There are a number of essays which are within my field of psychology, the mind and mental illness, but that did not preclude the other areas of study from being delved into with a great deal of relish. I found the "Tools" section incredibly interesting, especially as many of the items are objects that doctors use and that we take for granted, but have hardy ever wondered how they came about.

It is, like most textbooks, a book to dip in and out of, rather than read from cover to cover, yet that is exactly what I have done and, I have to admit that it held my fascination throughout. Overall, this is a great starting point for anyone interested in the history of medicine.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plagues, pills, birth and death, 15 Nov. 2011
By 
All of them Witches (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Great Discoveries in Medicine (Hardcover)
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A very comprehensive and solid history of 'medicine' medical breakthroughs disease and treatment models. More a book to dip in and out of as its quite a heavy read, some great periodical illustrations and photos though.
The contents have already been described excellently by other reviewers, the only shortcoming really of accounts such as this are that it covers such a wide spectrum that it is occasionally difficult to give justice to some catagories. Whilst an endoscope may adequately be summarised over two pages, summarising the medical and social history of psychiatric drugs over three pages cannot possibly do the subject justice however well presented it is here.
An excellent reference guide for what it is though, interesting and well researched text and I'd say every single page also has at least one picture or illustration to flesh out the subject matter. A really worthwhile book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great discovery of a book !, 27 Jan. 2012
By 
BusyReader "mrs28" (Midlands UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Great Discoveries in Medicine (Hardcover)
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A thoroughly excellent resource and reference book which delves into many aspects of medicine within specific areas and chapters, each of these is written as essays and illustrated with colour and black and white pictures, and images which help make the read a pleasing experience on the eye.

It is a large heavy book which feels solid and takes the reader on a journey from the Egyptian world , the ancient Greeks , China , India and Islam , to modern Genetics, Keyhole surgery and Diagnositic imaging with a detour around vaccines , medicines , mental health and disection .

It's a great book to delve into and read snippets of and the chapters are written in an easy to understand language that would be easy reading for younger readers as well as older ones with an interest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insights into medical advances, 2 Oct. 2012
By 
Tealady2000 (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Great Discoveries in Medicine (Hardcover)
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This is book would be enjoyed by anyone with a general interest in medicine and medical history. Each 4-page chapter is beautifully illustrated (although some of the pictures are a bit grisly) and clearly written by an expert in that field. The book covers everything from the medical practises of ancient races to the very latest technology (eg IVF and imaging methods). My favourite section is the one covering infectious disease because so many terrible illnesses (such as plague and smallpox) have been eradicated through the ingenuity of mankind but other completely new ones continue to have devastating effects (eg HIV). When you learn about some of the treatments and devices that were used in the past, you will certainly be grateful that you live now!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Coffee table book for the Medically Minded., 9 April 2012
By 
South Londoner (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Great Discoveries in Medicine (Hardcover)
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Have a medically minded person in your life and looking for a birthday pressie? This might just be the ticket! This amazing book is packed with 70 Great Discoveries in Medicine and is lavishly illustrated and a pleasure to read. Topics include: Discovering the Body, Understanding Health and Disease, Tools of the Trade, Battling the Scourges, A Pill for every Ill, Surgical Breakthroughs and Medical Triumphs. Many of the images are from the Wellcome Museum in London and if you enjoyed this book then I highly reccomend a visit (its free! and the coffee shop is amazing too!)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful read!, 23 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Great Discoveries in Medicine (Hardcover)
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I do not have a medical background, but really found this book interesting. It was packed with useful facts written in userfriendly way and illustrations to help readers like me along the way.

Its probably not what a technical medical student would want to use as a reference however it is great for a background on the global evolution of medicine and to see how the profession worked centuries ago.

The book is split into areas of understanding the body, health and disease, tools of the surgons trade etc and shows what was used many years ago compared to how they do things now.

I enjoyed reading this book and it will remain on my shelf to read again, one I would recommend.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent collection of short essays, 25 Nov. 2011
By 
Joanne K. Pilsworth (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Great Discoveries in Medicine (Hardcover)
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I was not quite sure what to expect with this book. Is it aimed at a historian, or a medic? Is it a textbook, or one of those books that whets your appetite for more?

The answer is I think more the latter, but aimed at the layperson. This is a very well illustrated book, and each discovery is the subject of a short essay, taking up three pages, including illustrations. The sections covered are Discovering the Body, Understanding Health and Disease, Tools of the Trade, Battling the Scourges, A Pill for Every Ill, Surgical Breakthroughs, Medical Triumphs. Each section has ten mini-essays.

The good thing about this book is it is not just 'ancient' history. For example, the 'Scourges' include HIV, Tools of the Trade gives an introduction to surgical robots.

The essays themselves are very easy to read, which is the advantage of their length. The content is suffient to inspire you to look further into a topic, hence my describing it as an book to whet the appetite.

I have given it four stars only because I think that it does struggle a bit to find a niche. It is not a medical textbook, and it is not thorough enough to be a good reference source. So, it seems to be a bit 'on the fence'. However, what is there is good. Perhaps a book for the library, rather than a personal purchase?
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Discoveries Await You..., 13 Dec. 2011
By 
Andrew Kerr (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Great Discoveries in Medicine (Hardcover)
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It's so easy to forget how far medicine has came in the last one hundred, fifty, or even five years. Many advances such as antibiotics, heart surgery and insulin are somewhat common place these days but the very idea of them before their creation and discovery was highly exotic. This coffee-table-like popular science book combines these discoveries as far back as ancient Egypt and from counties all around the world in to a very intresting self contained text.

Great Discoveries in Medicine is well structured, easy to follow, but more importantly packed with amazing facts, diagrams, and photos, all of which help to keep you interested from cover to cover. It is worth noting that a basic knowledge of biology and science would be helpful as while the book doesn't overload you with knowledge it does at times become a bit technical.

Overall however a great read for anybody interested in the field, it's not advanced enough for medical students and not basic enough for complete beginners, so sitting in the middle it appeals to the vast majority of readers who I doubt would be disappointed.
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Great Discoveries in Medicine
Great Discoveries in Medicine by Helen Bynum (Hardcover - 26 Sept. 2011)
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