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The Alarming History of Medicine
by Richard Gordon [edit]

The Alarming History of Medicine
********* 9 Stars!
Price: US$ 10.36, Available worldwide on
Check Availability from: Canada or from United Kingdom
ISBN: 0312167636


From Booklist
Gordon--author of a successfully filmed series of British comic novels that began with Doctor in the House; of many delightful articles in Punch; and of books on fishing, cricket, and gardening besides medical topics--has hit the mark again. He deals wittily and informatively with the past as well as the present in this set of anecdotes on some of medicine's great achievements and achievers. Regarding the former, he points out that "among the greatest discoveries of medicine are the generally belated ones that some treatments are utterly useless." As for the latter, Gordon takes up such well-known individuals as Joseph Lister, discoverer and champion of the antiseptic method, who once cut into an abscess in Queen Victoria's left armpit, thereby allowing him to observe upon her death (not from the lancing) that "I am the only man who has ever stuck a knife into the Queen." He notes that Thomas Bowdler, more famous for cleaning up Shakespeare, was a physician. The book is not, however, just trivial anecdote and humor, since Gordon knows enough about the field to realize that Villemin showed that tuberculosis was infectious 14 years before Koch did. The occasional Briticism may cause a momentary stumble for the American reader but in no way lessens the pleasures of this text. ^IWilliam Beatty --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Richard Gordon


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