2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Rip-roaring read through cholera-struck London & the life of a medical pioneer,
This review is from: The Medical Detective: John Snow, Cholera and the Mystery of the Broad Street Pump (Paperback)
As someone who does who does not often read, I can thoroughly recommend this book which I borrowed from a library on a Saturday afternoon and had finished by the following Wednesday, having read it at every available moment in between.
While John Snow's life and work on cholera provides the narrative thread around which the rest of the book is written, the book covers so much more than this and is accessible to readers such as myself who do not come from medical backgrounds.
Indeed, the book is a fascinating insight into the history of medicine, at least, its state in the 19th century. Beyond Snow's work on cholera, interesting enough in itself, and cholera's effects on vicitms and advance across the world from its apparent origins in 1817 India, Hempel's book offers an illustration of healthcare as it existed in Victorian Britain.
The text includes discussion of how doctors were trained, which treatments they offered, and their now disproved theories regarding the spread of disease. The book also describes the dawn of anaesthesia, in which Snow had played a significant part, as well as the deplorable social conditions of the working class in Dickensian Britain.
The only addition which might have made the book even more readable would have been the provision of more maps to describe the areas in question.
Hempel's book is a fascinating tribute to John Snow's work and one which I am already considering buying, so that I can read it again.