- Series: FT Press Science
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (March 7, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0137137486
- ISBN-13: 978-0137137480
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 44 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,621,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Breakthrough!: How the 10 Greatest Discoveries in Medicine Saved Millions and Changed Our View of the World (FT Press Science) 1st Edition
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"This very well-written, cogent, and accessible book by freelance writer Queijo will be an important resource, especially for a lay audience. Each of the ten medical discoveries mentioned in the title is really a chapter delimiting the history of medicine. Chapters range from The World's First Physician: Hippocrates and the Discovery of Medicine' to 'A Return to Tradition: The Rediscovery of Alternative Medicine.' This book deserves a very wide readership. Especially useful for general readers, it also will be applicable in undergraduate education across a surprising range of disciplines." Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates, general readers, and researchers/faculty. Reprinted with permission from CHOICE, copyright by the American Library Association.
From the Back Cover
"A wonderfully clear account of the great moments in medicine and a powerful reminder of the possibility of improvement in the fight against illness." --Matt Ridley, author of "Genome" 10 World-Changing Revolutions in Medicine...and the Remarkable Human Discoveries That Made Them Possible - The unforgettable life-or-death stories behind antibiotics, vaccines, DNA, X-rays, and more - What happened, how it happened, and what it means to you today - A colorful cast of characters whose discoveries were often driven not only by personal tragedy, curiosity, and hard work, but petty bickering, dumb luck, and a healthy dose of humor - For anyone interested in science, medicine, and beyond... Why are you alive right now? Chances are, you owe your life to one of the remarkable medical discoveries in this book. Maybe it was vaccines. Or antibiotics. Or X-rays. Revolutionary medical breakthroughs like these haven't just changed the way we treat disease, they've transformed how we understand ourselves and the world we live in. In "Breakthrough!," Jon Queijo tells the hidden stories behind 10 of history's most amazing medical discoveries. This isn't dry history: These are life-and-death mysteries uncovered, tales of passionate, often-mocked individuals who stood their ground and were proven right. From germs to genetics, the ancient Hippocrates to the cutting edge, these are stories that have changed the world-and, quite likely, saved your life.
Top customer reviews
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I think that critics of the 10th chapter about the success of the alternative medicine have missed the point. Nowhere the author claims that homeopathy or other types of quackery are working. In fact, he clearly says that they don't but that there is a reason for their popularity, namely, that the medicine of the western world is forgetting that its primary focus is on the patient, not disease. We have become enamored by technological advances that they are no use if the mental state of a patient is aimed towards destruction. It is time to consider wider perspective and holistic systems is a good source for new ideas.
Otherwise it is hard to explain why the United States with the most advanced medical technology and spending more money per patient than any other country is lagging behind in actual medical care. Countries with national health care like Canada or UK are actually doing better with less money. Withing this wider understanding a nationalized health care could save many lives and improve general well-being and be actually cheaper.
There are also an interesting controversy about obesity which has become endemic in certain parts of the world. Gaury Taubs argues that the regular recommendations of eating less and exercising more do not seem to work because doctors are missing greater perspective of what really drives people to eat certain amount of calories. Most doctors do not even care because it is so easy to say that it is a patient's fault for not following the regiment. However, this could be compared to AIDS/HIV epidemic in Africa where many authorities try to deal with the problem by recommending abstaining from sex, instead of providing condoms. It is necessary to invent a "condom" against obesity because abstinence (from sex or food) may work in some individual cases but not in general. This is another case when greater focus on a patient and not only on a disease would be very beneficial.
As I read about the ten breakthroughs, I writhed in pain when thinking of the millions of women who have given birth without help of anesthesia of any sort and of those who had died of childbirth fever because no one knew of the importance of hand washing. I was fascinated with the chapters on X-rays and vaccines. As a child, I swallowed a sugar cube at our local elementary school and hence became invulnerable to polio. From reading Queijo's book, I learned more about Hippocrates and his advice to look at the person, not just the disease. I also learned more about cholera and the role of sanitation in preventing it. As a person living in the first years of the 21st century, it seems hard to believe that at one time, no one understood the importance of clean water.
My absolute favorite chapters, however, were the ones on genetics and the treatment of mental disorders. As a psychology instructor, I already knew most of this information, but the manner in which it was treated is accurate, refreshing, and informative. The author's style is easy to read and understand (without being pedantic), and anyone who reads these chapters will come away wiser.
I've already recommended the book to several of my teaching chums, and I'm recommending it to you too!
Most recent customer reviews
It is written like a very dry, very well-researched dissertation.Read more