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Roy Porter, a social historian of medicine the London's Wellcome Institute, has written an dauntingly thick history of how medical thinking and practice has risen to the challenges of disease through the centuries. But delve into its pages, and you'll find one marvelous bit of history after another. The obvious highlights are touched upon--Hippocrates introduces his oath, Pasteur homogenizes, Jonas Salk produces the polio vaccine, and so on--but there's also Dr. Francis Willis's curing of The Madness of King George, W. T. G. Morton's hucksterish use of ether in surgery, and research on digestion conducted using a man with a stomach fistula (if you don't know what that means, you may not want to know). Porter is straightforward about his deliberate focus on Western medical traditions, citing their predominant influence on global medicine, and with The Greatest Benefit to Mankind, he has produced a volume worthy of that tradition's legacy.
A more complete general medical history I could not ask for! It amazes me how much information is packed into this tome, and any healthcare professional or medical historian would... Read morePublished 1 month ago by John Condello
Mr. Porter is in need of a better editor. Did Plato really live between 427 and 437 BC, dying at the age of negative ten? Read morePublished 5 months ago by bob froat
I purchased the Kindle version. However, after reading just 12% of the digitalized book I gave up and threw in the towel. Read morePublished 13 months ago by john p sweeney
I tried so hard to enjoy this book but it's so tediously dense. After reading the first 25 pages, I found myself skimming through the paragraphs, then the pages, then the chapters... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Arash Taleghani
This book was in good shape, besides the fact that there were 2 chapters missing. I was not satisfied with the fact that this was not disclosed.Published 18 months ago by Melissa