From Library Journal
Another in the "Oxford Companion" series (it was preceded in the sciences by companions to the mind in 1987 and to medicine in 1986), this is a beautifully produced tome comprising over 1000 entries written by 350 contributors, the majority of whom are British academicians. Editors Blakemore and Jennett are physiology professors at Oxford and the University of Glasgow, respectively, and British spelling is used throughout. Many entries provide See also references, and longer entries include suggestions for further reading. There is also a comprehensive index. Illustrations, including line drawings, black-and-white photographs, and full-color plates, are used conservatively, and some entries, such as "Surgery," could have been enhanced by the inclusion of some sort of illustration. However, the editors have succeeded admirably in their goal of providing a "seamless blending of science and humanities." Entries range from major religions and how each views the body (e.g. "Hinduism and the Body," a two-page article) to many parts of the body ("Fallopian Tubes" merits a brief paragraph as well as See also references, and while neither fingers nor toes warrants an entry, "Fingerprints" does). There are entries for professions that specialize in the use of the body ("Model, Artist's," with the requisite nude photograph) and even for concepts, like "Leisure," with See also references to "Relaxation" and "Sport." "Mandrake Root" is listed because it resembles a person and is beautifully illustrated by a reproduction from Dioscorides's Materia medica. Remarkably affordable and compulsively readable, this volume will find a home in any academic or public library's history of medicine or reference collection. Martha E. Stone, Massachusetts General Hosp. Lib., Boston
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Developed by Oxford University Press with the support of the Physiological Society, The Oxford Companion to the Body
strives to bring "the wonders and excitement of the science of physiology to a broad audience." In addition to science, it includes cultural, historical, and religious perspectives.
The approximately 1,000 alphabetically arranged entries range from short definitions to longer entries that that include contributors' names and recommended readings. Many scholars, mostly from the U.S and UK, including historians and physiologists, contributed to this guide. Although anatomical systems and physiological functions make up the bulk of the entries, examples of the broad scope of coverage include Furniture and the body, Hinduism and the body, Lifespan, Mermaid, and Tattooing. Also included are some biographies of noted physicians. There are a few color plates, and plates of the human body follow the index. The emphasis in many of the entries is British though the scope is international.
This is neither a medical guide nor a medical dictionary; rather, it is a summary of the art and science of our bodies. Suitable for a wide audience, The Oxford Companion to the Body is recommended for academic, medical, and large public libraries. RBB
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