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Digging Up the Dead: Uncovering the Life and Times of an Extraordinary Surgeon Hardcover – March 27, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“. . . a brilliant portrait of surgical life before anesthesia, antiseptics, antibiotics and professional regulations.”–Literary Review


From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

Druin Burch is a professor at Oxford and has contributed to The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Random House UK (March 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701179856
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701179854
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,043,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Glenn Bendall on May 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Digging Up The Dead, biography of Sir Astley Cooper, pioneering Surgeon of the late 1700 - 1840 in the UK is highly readable, educational, & told in the context of not only his medical & political contemporaries but also in the context of his GP author. This book has also been reviewed by New Scientist which speaks for itself. The appalling conditions, by today's standards, under which surgery was performed is graphic plus the enormous contribution Cooper made to surgery internationally. He is still being cited in refereed medical journals! Although obtaining enough corpses for dissection was difficult & dangerous at this time, a more suitable title should have been possible. However, this is a trite churlish for a book highly recommended for all interested in medical history, & the life & times of a great man.
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Format: Hardcover
Druin Burch's exposition on the life and times of the world famous surgeon Astley Cooper is not only a brilliantly researched and written medical biography but also an exceptional biography full stop, as well as a great read.

He outlines the life of an extraordinary person, and manages to draw the reader in to not only the details of his life, but also the feelings he must have felt as he pioneered the types of basic surgery we take for granted. Exposing a fair bit of himself in the process, Burch has written a book that is easily readable by laypeople and gives an insight into traditional surgery - raw, unadulterated and with no anaesthetic !

For those interested in life in 17th and 18th century England, the book does not disappoint and Burch does a great job in recreating the sights and smells of the era.

All in all, well worth a read and an exciting book for a first time author.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A most revealing book for the general reader. And for the practicing surgeon a window into his or her past.
Obvious that scientific curiosity took precedence over the patients feelings!
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