Sickness and health, birth and death, disease and cure: medicine and our understanding of the workings of our bodies and minds are an inextricable part of how we know who we are. As we face new challenges from the globalization of disease, environmental change and increased longevity, the science of healing is now more vital than ever. This timely volume is a superb guide to medicine’s achievements and its prospects for the future.
An international team of distinguished experts provide an unrivalled account of the evolution of medical knowledge and practice from ancient Egypt, India and China to today’s latest technology, from letting blood to keyhole surgery, from the theory of humours to the genetic revolution, from the stethoscope to the MRI scanner. They explain medicine’s turning points and conceptual changes with refreshing clarity and answer some key questions: how has the plague influenced the course of human history? What effect did the pill have on the lives of women, and on society as a whole? And what challenges does medicine face in our changing world?
'Both a pleasure and an enlightenment to read'
'[A] crisply written chronicle of "eureka" moments in medicine'
'An attractively produced volume, full of bite-size wonders'
Times Literary Supplement