Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Medicine in China: A History of Ideas (Comparative Studies of Health Systems and Medical Care) Paperback – October 14, 1988

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$48.20 $13.44

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Paul Unschuld's massive erudition lies at the service of relativism. His main aim is to explain the history of Chinese medical theories by locating them within successive broader paradigms of belief demonological, Confucian, Taoist, Buddhist, Marxist (each of which he anchors in turn within the line of dynasties from the Shang and Chou empires up to the Gang of Four. . . . Undeniably valuable . . . is his emphasis on how each new wave of Chinese medical theory ended up by complementing the preceding corpus of ideas." -- Roy Porter, Times Literary Supplement

"Unschuld successfully weaves the evolution of medical ideas with the prevalent socio-political events of the past three and one-half millennia. . . . The reward is immense." -- Peter Kong-ming New, Medical Anthropology

About the Author

Paul Unschuld is a professor at the Institute for the History of Medicine at the University of Munich.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Comparative Studies of Health Systems and Medical Care (Book 13)
  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (October 14, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520062167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520062160
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #907,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I realy don't know what book the above reviewer read before writing their review, but it certainly appears not to have been this one. Unschuld's premise is that any medicine MUST be understood within the context of the intellectual and cultural history out of which it arises, and not judged or even atempted to be understood from the intellectual and cultural framework of another culture seeking to understand the medicine only. Therefore, students of Traditional Chinese Medicine MUST study Chinese culture, history, and intellectual thought in order to fully understand the emdicine itself. Otherwise it is just a haphazard grab bag of clever techniques, at best. He intends his book to be a start n that direction, giving an overview of Chinese political, cultural, religious, and intellectual history, and attempting to show how this rich history of ideas manifested within the field of Chinese medicine from the earliest oracle bones and shamanic healers to the current attempt under Communism to develop a pragmatic system of primary care totally divorced from the spiritual context that gave birth to its world view and concepts.
This is not a book for the casual reader who wants to learn a little bit about acupuncture. It is, however, a book serious students of Chinese Medicine ought to be thoroughly familiar with.
Comment 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
On the face of it, a book on the history of Chinese medicine may sound about as interesting as watching paint dry. But this excellent book is riveting.

It tells a story with many parallels in the West: medicine is heavily influence by the society in which it is practiced. How we think about people, how to keep them healthy and how to heal them, is a reflection of the prevailing understanding of the time. If you believe that the world is a magical place containing angels and demons then illness may be seen as demonic and its cure as the action of an angel. If, as is common today, the human being is thought of as no more than a biochemical machine, then that's the way that medicine operates.

Paul Unschuld is a remarkably erudite historian from the Institute for the History of Medicine at the University of Munich. The book is a largely successful attempt to explain the history of Chinese medical theories by positioning them within the belief systems in which they developed. Beginning with beliefs rooted in demonology, traditional Chinese medicine continued to evolve as Confucian, Taoist, Buddhist and the Marxist beliefs held sway. What is remarkable abut Chinese medicine is its resilience: each new wave of theory became incorporated and complemented everything that came before.

The book's central theme is expressed through three elements that have informed the theory and practice of Chinese medicine. First is the idea of magical correspondences. So an illness may occur because an albino calf was born in the village. The second is the empirical, practical medicine that has been developed by every culture: folk knowledge of herbs and other remedies that aid in the treatment of disease.
Read more ›
Comment 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is not a book about popular "Chinese medicine" to heal everything and even better than traditional European medicine. It is a very insightful comparison about the development of Chinese medicine at different times and political and social achievements and how society, from peasant to scholar, was wrapped in the philosophical and practical application of it. A lot to think and learn about.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse