History In Focus logo and homepage link

History in Focus

the guide to historical resources • Issue 3: Medical History •

Medical History

A Rat Catcher

A Rat Catcher


Select a publisher in the selection box below, or browse down the page.

This bibliography is taken from History Online, which provides bibliographic information on books and journal articles published by UK academic publishers. The selection below represents a brief selection of books on Medical History in History Online. Search History Online for other books and journal articles.


The Black Death Transformed
Disease and Culture in Early Renaissance Europe

Samuel K. Cohn, Jr.

The Black Death in Europe, from its arrival in 1347-52 through successive waves into the early modern period, has been seriously misunderstood. It is clear from the compelling evidence presented in this revolutionary account that the Black Death was almost any disease other than the rat-based bubonic plague whose bacillus was discovered in 1894. Since the late nineteenth century, the rat and flea have stood wrongly accused as the agents of transmission and historians and scientists have uncritically imposed the epidemiology of modern plague on the past. Unshackled from this misconception, The Black Death Transformed turns to its subject afresh, using sources spread across a huge geographical tract, from Lisbon to Uzbekistan, Sicily to Scotland: more than 40 000 death documents (from last wills and testaments to the earliest surviving burial records), over 400 chronicles, 250 plague tracts, 50 saints' lives, merchant letters and much more. These sources confirm the terror of the medieval plague, the rapidity of its spread (unlike modern plague), and the utter despondency left in the wake of its first strike. But they also point to significant differences between medieval and modern plague, none more significant than the ability of humans to acquire natural immunity to the former but not the latter. Over its first hundred years, adaptation to the new microbial plague enemy came with striking speed and success. In place of despondency came a new sense of confidence. From God and the stars, contemporaries turned to cures and socially grounded explanations. And in this context the Renaissance found a foothold and climbed with assurance - not only in Florence but in places as far removed from the supposed centres of Renaissance culture as Danzig. Such a major cultural and psychological change centred, this study argues, on the particular character of the disease - the swiftness with which Europeans adapted to their new bacillus (whatever it might have been).

Publication date: May 2002

Back to top


Historical perspectives on child murder and concealment, 1550-2000

Edited by Mark Jackson

Infanticide traces key developments in the social, legal, and medical history of infanticide from the sixteenth through to the late twentieth century, not only in Britain but also in France, Germany, and South Africa. Focusing in particular on debates about concealment, and on notions of historical continuity and change, it will appeal to historians of crime, gender, medicine and law.
Includes 7 b&w illustrations

Publication date: April 2002

Health Care and Poor Relief in 18th and 19th Century Northern Europe

Edited by Ole Peter Grell, Andrew Cunningham and Robert Jütte
The History of Medicine in Context

Throughout history governments have had to confront the problem of how to deal with the poorer parts of their population. During the medieval and early modern period this responsibility was largely borne by religious institutions, civic institutions and individual charity. By the eighteenth century, however, the rapid social and economic changes brought about by industrialisation put these systems under intolerable strain, forcing radical new solutions to be sought to address both old and new problems of health care and poor relief. This volume looks at how northern European governments of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries coped with the needs of the poor, whilst balancing any new measures against the perceived negative effects of relief upon the moral wellbeing of the poor and issues of social stability.

Publication date: May 2002

The Irritable Heart of Soldiers and the Origins of Anglo-American Cardiology
The US Civil War (1861) to World War I (1918)

Charles F. Wooley
The History of Medicine in Context

This study, written by a practising medical doctor, looks at the phenomenon known as 'the irritable heart of soldiers'. The condition, characterised by chest pains, palpitations, breathlessness, fatigue, syncope and exercise intolerance, first became an issue in the American Civil War, where it incapacitated thousands of troops. Using his expertise as a doctor, an academic and a former soldier, the author analyses the changing attitudes to this syndrome in the US and British Empire, in both an historical and a medical capacity.
Includes 40 b&w illustrations

Publication date: September 2002

Galen and Galenism
Theory and medical practice from antiquity to the European Renaissance

Luis García-Ballester
Edited by Jon Arrizabalaga, Montserrat Cabré, Lluís Cifuentes and Fernando Salmón
Variorum Collected Studies Series

Galenism, a rational, coherent medical system embracing all health and disease related matters, was the dominant medical doctrine in the Latin West during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Deriving from the medical and philosophical views of Galen (129-c.210/6) as well as from his clinical practice, Latin Galenism had its origins in 12th-century Salerno and was constructed from the cultural exchanges between the Arabic and Christian worlds. It flourished all over Europe, following the patterns of expansion of the university system during the subsequent centuries and was a major factor in shaping the healing systems of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities - the subject of a previous volume by Professor García-Ballester. The present collection deals with a wide array of issues regarding the historical Galen and late medieval and Renaissance Galenism, but focuses in particular on the relationship between theory and practice. It includes first English versions of two major studies originally published in Spanish.
9 studies in English, 2 in Spanish

Publication date: November 2002

A Cultural History of Medical Vitalism in Enlightenment Montpellier

Elizabeth A. Williams
The History of Medicine in Context

This study is a cultural history of Montpellier vitalism, regarded by many historians as the leading school of medicine in the French Enlightenment. Offering a holistic understanding of physical-moral relation in place of Descartes' mind-body dualism, Montpellier vitalism supplied essential discursive foundations of the medical enlightenment.

Publication date: December 2002

Drugs and Alcohol in the Pacific
New consumption trends and their consequences

Edited by Juan F. Gamella

The Pacific World: Lands, Peoples and History of the Pacific, 1500-1900
From the arrival of Europeans in the Pacific in the 16th century, introduced psychoactive drugs have played a crucial role in the history of societies from China to Peru, and from Alaska to Australia. Tobacco, followed by opium, distilled alcohol, caffeinated drinks, as well as laboratory drugs such as morphine and cocaine, became standardized and massively produced commodities. These substances joined a local base of indigenous drugs and fermented beverages to create new traditions of consumption that characterized entire peoples and cultures. They were also tools of European domination, so crucial elements of cultural and economic change: opium in China, coca in the Andes, and tobacco and spirits in Oceania. New consumption and production patterns revealed important differences among cultures and polities of the region, and spawned social problems that, in turn, transformed collective representations of these substances. Some became powerful moral symbols that shaped influential social and political movements, such as the Temperance League in the U.S., and the anti-opium movement in China.

Publication date: April 2002

Justice to the Maimed Soldier
Nursing, Medical Care and Welfare for Sick and Wounded Soldiers and their Families during the English Civil Wars and Interregnum, 1642-1660

Eric Gruber von Arni
The History of Medicine in Context

Justice to the Maimed Soldier looks at the medical care, nursing and welfare provided for sick and wounded soldiers, and their families, during the English Civil Wars and Interregnum, 1642-1660. It challenges the received wisdom and makes some bold claims for the efforts and effectiveness of the care provided, especially by the victorious Parliamentarians.
Includes 8 b&w maps and 4 b&w photographs

Publication date: December 2001

Reinventing Hippocrates

Edited by David Cantor
The History of Medicine in Context

This collection of essays explores the multiple uses, constructions and meanings of Hippocrates and Hippocratic Medicine since the Renaissance, and elucidates the cultural and social circumstances that encouraged the creation of such varied proposals.

Publication date: December 2001

Back to top

Blackwell Publishers

Autism in History
The Case of Hugh Blair of Borgue

Rab Houston and Uta Frith

This case study is the result of a unique collaboration between a social historian and a cognitive scientist. It examines the enigmatic case of Hugh Blair, an eighteenth century Scottish 'laird' or landowner, whose arranged marriage was annulled on the grounds of his mental incapacity. Through an in-depth study of the evidence surrounding the case, the authors conclude that Blair, who was classed at the time as a 'fool', was in fact autistic. Writing in a lively and engaging style, the authors draw together witness statements from court records with a wide range of other documentation to set the sociohistoric scene for the case. This provides a fascinating context to which the latest theories on autism are applied. This book will not only intrigue both historians and psychologists but will also appeal to a wider audience for its study of this compelling and deeply affecting human story.

Publication Date: 2000

Patients' Progress
Sickness, Health and Medical Care in England 1650 - 1850

Dorothy Porter and Roy Porter

Pre-modern society was overshadowed by illness and the threat of death. This outstanding new book examines what people did when they fell sick in Britain between 1650 - 1850. The authors investigate the well-established and flourishing tradition of self-medication, as practised by individuals, within the family and in the wider community. They look at what kinds of medical services could be obtained, both from the regular profession and among quacks and other healers. Above all they explore the personal and sociological bonds developed between patients and their doctors, examining in particular the economic and ethical dimensions of this privileged but precarious relationship. What precisely did doctors have to offer the sick in an age before scientific medicine could promise near-certain cures? This fundamental question is analysed against the background of the cultural and religious attitudes of Enlightenment England and in the context of the development of the medical profession. Drawing on the letters, journals and autobiographies of individual sufferers and from the papers of doctors, this remarkable investigation opens up new issues and offers interpretations which will certainly stimulate controversy among historians, anthropologists and sociologists and lead the way to further research in this area.

Publication Date: 1989

Back to top

Boydell and Brewer

The Royal Doctors, 1485-1714: Medical Personnel at the Tudor and Stuart Courts

Elizabeth Lane Furdell

Drawing upon a myriad of primary and secondary historical sources, The Royal Doctors: Medical Personnel at the Tudor and Stuart Courts investigates the influential individuals who attended England's most important patients during a pivotal epoch in the evolution of the state and the medical profession. Over three hundred men (and a handful of women), heretofore unexamined as a group, made up the medical staff of the Tudor and Stuart kings and queens of England (as well as the Lord Protectorships of Oliver and Richard Cromwell). The royal doctors faced enormous challenges in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries from diseases that respected no rank and threatened the very security of the realm. Moreover, they had to weather political and religious upheavals that led to regicide and revolution, as well as cope with sharp theoretical and jurisdictional divisions within English medicine. The rulers often interceded in medical controversies at the behest of their royal doctors, bringing sovereign authority to bear on the condition of medicine. Elizabeth Lane Furdell is Professor of History at the University of North Florida.

Publication Date: 2001

The Mechanization of the Heart: Harvey & Descartes

Thomas Fuchs - Translated by Marjorie Grene

In Mechanization of the Heart: Harvey and Descartes Thomas Fuchs begins by comparing the views of William Harvey (1578-1657) and Rene Descartes (1596-1650) on the heart and the circulation of the blood through the body. These two seventeenth-century scholars - one a British medical doctor, the other a French philosopher and mathemetician - differed substantially in their beliefs: they both accepted the idea of circulation of the blood, but differed on the action of the heart. Fuchs traces the ways the opposing views were received, revised, rejected, or renewed in succeeding generations by medical writers in various parts of Europe. He then examines Harvey's approach to cardiac and circulatory physiology, mainly through an examination of Harvey's book De motu cordis: he follows with a discussion of the background in Aristotelian philosophy that was the requirement for all studies in medicine and how that affected Harvey's beliefs. Fuchs then turns to Descartes' presentation of Harvey's views and shows how his view, rather than Harvey's, was accepted in Europe at that time. Marjorie Grene brings to the translation her distinguished background in philosophy and her keen insights into medical philosophy. Thomas Fuchs teaches psychiatry at the Rupert-Karls-Universitat, Heidelberg. Marjorie Grene is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of California at Davis, and Adjunct Professor and Honorary Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Virginia Tech University.

Publication Date: 2001

Pioneers in Medicine and Their Impact on Tuberculosis

Thomas M. Daniel

Throughout history, tuberculosis has been at or near the top of the list of infectious diseases that have plagued humankind. This pervasive disease has had a central position not only in causing illness but also in challenging medical scientists to understand it - and, in so doing, to further understand all of human health and illness. Pioneers in Medicine and Their Impact on Tuberculosis tells the stories of six of these individuals: Rene Theophile Hyacinthe Laennec (pathology), Heinrich Hermann Robert Koch (bacteriology), Hermann Michael Biggs (public health), Clemens von Pirquet (immunology), Wade Hampton Frost (epidemiology), and Selman Abraham Waksman (antibiotics). It examines not only their contributions in their own fields but also their special work in conquering tuberculosis. Presenting their fascinating lives and the seminal work they did in their disciplines, the author examines the importance of their discoveries and relates them to the dramatic expansion of medical science during the era in which they lived.

Publication date: 2000

Back to top

Cambridge University Press

The Cambridge Illustrated History of Medicine

Edited by Roy Porter

Against the backdrop of an unprecedented concern for health today, The Cambridge Illustrated History of Medicine not only surveys the rise of medicine in the West from earliest times to the present day, but also glimpses into the future. It is written by a team of experts co-ordinated by one of the most distinguished and prolific writers and researchers into the history of medicine, Professor Roy Porter. Both authoritative and accessible, The Cambridge Illustrated History of Medicine is the only serious choice for a reader wanting a lively and informative single-volume introduction to medical history.

Publication date: August 2001

Knowledge and Practice in English Medicine, 1550-1680

Andrew Wear

This is a major synthesis of the knowledge and practice of early modern English medicine in its social and cultural contexts. The book vividly maps out some central areas: remedies (and how they were made credible), notions of disease, advice on preventive medicine and on healthy living, and how surgeons worked upon the body and their understanding of what they were doing. The structures of practice and knowledge examined in the first part of the book came to be challenged in the later seventeenth century, when the 'new science' began to overturn the foundation of established knowledge. However, as the second part of the book shows, traditional medical practice was so well entrenched in English culture that much of it continued into the eighteenth century. Various changes did however occur, which set the agenda for later medical treatment and which are discussed in the final chapter.

Publication date: November 2000

Logic, Signs and Nature in the Renaissance
The Case of Learned Medicine

Ian Maclean

How or what were doctors in the Renaissance trained to think, and how did they interpret the evidence at their disposal for making diagnoses and prognoses? Maclean addresses these questions in the broad context of the world of learning: its institutions, its means of conveying and disseminating information, and the relationship between university faculties. The uptake by doctors from the university arts course - the foundation for medical studies - is examined in detail, as are the theoretical and empirical bases for medical knowledge, including its concepts of nature, health, disease and normality. Logic, Signs and Nature in the Renaissance ends with a detailed investigation of semiotic, which was one of the five parts of the discipline of medicine, in the context of the various versions of semiology available to scholars. From this survey, Maclean makes a new assessment of the relationship of Renaissance medicine to the new science of the seventeenth century.

Publication date: November 2001

The Midwives of Seventeenth-Century London

Doreen A. Evenden

This book is the first comprehensive and detailed study of early modern midwives in seventeenth-century London. Until quite recently, midwives, as a group, have been dismissed by historians as being inadequately educated and trained for the task of child delivery. The Midwives of Seventeenth Century London rejects these claims by exploring the midwives' training and their licensing in an unofficial apprenticeship by the Church. Dr Evenden also offers an accurate depiction of the midwives in their socioeconomic context by examining a wide range of seventeenth-century sources. This expansive study not only recovers the names of almost one thousand women who worked as midwives in the twelve London parishes, but also brings to light details about their spouses, their families and their associates.

Publication date: May 2000

The Progress of Experiment
Science and Therapeutic Reform in the United States, 1900-1990

Harry M. Marks

The Progress of Experiment Science and Therapeutic Reform in the United States, 1900-1990 Harry M. Marks Other titles in the Cambridge Studies in the History of Medicine series Description | Contents Description How do we evaluate the safety and benefit of new drugs? What tasks do we hold the government responsible for and which ones do we leave to the medical profession? Harry Marks explores the origins of our contemporary system of drug regulation and the modern clinical trial. He shows that the story of modern drug regulation is synonymous with the history of therapeutic reform. Accompanying this history of public policy is a detailed account of changing experimental ideal and practices. Marks follows the history of therapeutic experimentation, from the 'collective investigations' of the last century to the controlled clinical trial which emerged after 1950 as the paradigm of scientific experimentation. The result is the first general history of clinical research in the United States, a book which examines therapeutic experiments in a wide range of diseases, from syphilis and pneumonia to heart disease and diabetes.

Publication date: December 2000

Back to top

Longman History (Pearson)

Nature Displayed
Gender, Science and Medicine 1760-1820

Ludmilla Jordanova

A collection of essays - including 3 that have never been published before - by one of the leading figures in cultural history. Professor Jordanova examines and reinterprets the writings of eighteenth-century thinkers and, in the process, sheds light on contemporary views on issues such as motherhood, sexuality, the body, art and medicine. The volume includes some of the author's most controversial and pioneering work, all the pieces have been revised in the light of the latest historiography and much of the material is published here for the first time.

Back to top

Manchester University Press

Plagues, Poisons and Potions
Plague spreading conspiracies in the Western Alps c.1530-1640

William G. Naphy

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries outbreaks of the plague in and around the ancient Duchy of Savoy accompanied the arrest and execution of many people who were accused of conspiring to spread the disease. The accused were usually workers in the plague hospitals and were charged with targeting leading and wealthy people from urban areas, so that they could rob them while the afflicted homeowners were confined in quarantine. Primarily the 'conspirators' were poor female migrants working as nurses or hospital workers. Nevertheless, in every outbreak, the leaders of the conspiracy were educated professional male barber-surgeons. During the trials of the accused, judicial torture played an important role and the prosecutions often ended with the spectacular and gruesome execution of plague workers. In order to understand how this phenomenon developed and was regarded at the time, this study examines the courts and the part played by torture, as well as considering the socio-economic conditions of the workers, highlighting an early modern form of 'class warfare'.

Publication date: January 2002

The Borderland of Imbecility
Medicine, society and the fabrication of the feeble mind in later Victorian and Edwardian England

Mark Jackson

Feeble-mindedness was a late Victorian and Edwardian obsession. Unlike madness, idiocy has not been much written about, but it has its own tragic story. The Borderland of imbecility examines both how and why certain children and adults were labelled as 'feeble-minded' and segregated into special schools and colonies in late Victorian and Edwardian England. This challenging book exploits a rich variety of archival sources, particularly from the Sandlebridge Colony in Cheshire, and a wide range of contemporary medical, educational and parliamentary material. Arguing that compulsory segregation served a multitude of social, political and professional ends, successive chapters explore key themes: the birth of the concept of a 'borderland of imbecility' in the late nineteenth century; the emergence of new institutional facilities at the turn of the century; the medicalisation of the feeble mind; the conflation of the feeble-minded with criminals, prostitutes, and paupers; the educational and occupational strategies designed to reclaim the feeble-minded; and the statutory measures framed to regulate the borderland in 1913 and 1914. Original, well structured and incorporating a series of illustrations, 'The borderland of imbecility' constitutes a major contribution to the social history of medicine, and offers a critical insight into the origins of institutional care for the feeble-minded.

Publication date: September 2000

Back to top

Oxford University Press

Western Medicine
An Illustrated History

Edited by Irvine Loudon

This, the third volume to appear in the New Oxford History of England, covers the period from the repeal of the Corn Laws to the dramatic failure of Gladstone's first Home Rule Bill. Intermeshed with a detailed social and political analysis of the period, Theo Hoppen examines the influence of developments in religion, economics, science, and the arts. His magisterial study goes beyond coverage of England alone to investigate the distinct but interconnected histories of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and the Empire abroad.

Publication date: December 2001

Medicine and the Making of Roman Women
Gender, Nature, and Authority from Celsus to Galen

Rebecca Flemming

In this book Dr Flemming includes new translations of some of the works of medical practitioners from Celsus, writing during the reign of Tiberius, to Galen, whose career ended under the Severans, and puts their ideas about women's bodies in their social and philosophical contexts. Relations between women and medicine are now a major area of historical enquiry, but the Roman imperial era, despite the plentiful material it offers and the critical role it plays in the formation of the Western medical tradition, has received less than its fair share of the attention. This book seeks to redress the balance as it investigates female involvement in the manifold medical activities of the Roman world: how women fared as practitioners and patients, how they were understood and described in the copious medical writings of the period, and what effects those understandings and descriptions had in wider society. Dr Flemming examines both the contribution of medicine to gender in the Roman Empire, and the contribution of gender to medicine, and argues that the particularities of the Roman relationship between the two has much to reveal about how systems of sexual difference work in general.

Publication date: December 2000

No One Was Turned Away
The Role of Public Hospitals in New York City

Sandra Opdycke

No One Was Turned Away is a book about the importance of public hospitals to New York City. At a time when less and less value seems to be placed on public institutions, argues author Sandra Opdycke, it is both useful and prudent to consider what this particular set of public institutions has meant to this particular city over the last hundred years, and to ponder what its loss might mean as well.
For more than a century, New York City's public hospitals have played a major role in ensuring that people of every class have had a place to turn for care. This comparison of the history of Bellevue Hospital with that of the private New York Hospital illuminates the unique contribution that public hospitals have made to the city and confirms their continued value today. Portraying the hospital as an urban institution that reflects the social, political, economic, demographic, and physical changes of the surrounding city, this book links the role of public hospitals to the ongoing debate about the place of public institutions in American society.

Publication date: October 2000

Passion and Pathology in Victorian Fiction

Jane Wood

In what was once described as 'the century of nerves', a fascination with the mysterious processes governing physical and psychological states was shared by medical and fiction writers alike. This elegant study offers an integrated analysis of how medicine and literature figured the connection between the body and the mind. Alongside detailed examinations of some of the century's most influential neurological and physiological theories, Jane Wood brings readings of both major and relatively neglected fictions - a range which includes work by Charlotte Bronte and George MacDonald, George Eliot and Wilkie Collins, Thomas Hardy and George Gissing. Stepping into an already lively area of interdisciplinary debate, Passion and Pathology is distinguished by its recognition of the intellectual and imaginative force of both discourses: it extends our understanding of the interaction between science and literature in the wider culture of the period.

Publication date: July 2001

Back to top

Palgrave MacMillan

Health and Medicine in Britain since 1860

Anne Hardy

Since 1860, life expectancies and standards of general health have improved dramatically in industrialised societies. In the 1860s, there was little that medicine could do to cure or prevent illness, death rates were high and life expectancy short. Health and Medicine in Britain since 1860 sets out to examine the relationship between health and medicine and how it has changed in Britain in the past 150 years. From the placebo effect to Viagra, through changes in society and in the organisation, practice and expertise of medicine, this volume reviews the processes through which modern expectations of health have become established.

Author's Abstract

Publication Date: December 2000

Science, Technology and Medicine in Modern History
Series of publications

General Editor: John V. Pickstone, Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester

Science, Technology and Medicine in Modern History publishes top-quality historical studies focussed on the relationships of knowledge and practice, especially for industrial and post-industrial societies. The series is international in scope: presenting science, technology and medicine as aspects of modern culture, and analysing their economic, social and political dimensions, whilst not neglecting the expert content.
Such analyses should contribute to discussions of present dilemmas and to assessments of policy. 'Science' no longer appears to us a triumphant agent of Enlightenment, breaking the shackles of tradition, enabling command over nature. But neither is it to be seen as merely oppressive and dangerous. Judgement requires information and careful analysis, just as intelligent policy-making requires a community of discourse between men and women trained in technical specialities and those who are not.
These studies are intended to supply analysis and to stimulate debate. Opinions will vary between authors; we claim only that the books are based on searching historical study of topics which are important, not least because they cut across conventional academic boundaries. They should appeal not just to historians, nor just to scientists, engineers and doctors, but to all who share the view that science, technology and medicine are far too important to be left out of history.

Surgery, Science and Industry
A Revolution in Fracture Care, 1950s-1990s
Science, Technology and Medicine in Modern History Series

Thomas Schlich

This book charts the history of the worldwide introduction of an operative treatment method for broken bones, osteosynthesis, by a Swiss-based association, called AO. The success of the close cooperation between the AO's surgeons, scientists and manufacturers in establishing a complicated and risky technique as a standard treatment sheds light on the mechanisms of medical innovation at the crossroads of surgery, science and industry and the nature of modern medicine in general.

Publication Date: June 2002

Acupuncture, Expertise and Cross-Cultural Medicine

R. E. Bivins

In 1825, an English Earl, crippled with pain and despairing of his usual physicians, invited a young and unconventional doctor into his home. Days later, the Earl was relieved, and the doctor rich. To celebrate his remarkable recovery, the nobleman re-named his favourite racehorse 'Acupuncture', to honour the technique that cured him. In an engaging account, Roberta Bivins vivifies the characters, texts and events of acupuncture's (often surprising) three hundred year history in Britain, and begins to explain acupuncture's enduring appeal.

Publication Date: November 2000

The Invisible Industrialist
Manufacture and the Construction of Scientific Knowledge

Jean-Paul Gaudillière, Ilana Löwy

Industrial methods, and industrially produced instruments, reagents and living organisms are central to research activities today. They play a key role in the homogenization and the diffusion of laboratory practices, thus in their transformation into a stable and unproblematic knowledge about the natural world. This book displays the - frequently invisible - role of industry in the construction of fundamental scientific knowledge through the examination of case studies taken from the history of nineteenth and the twentieth century physics, chemistry and biomedical sciences.

Publication Date: April 1998

Making Space for Science
Territorial Themes in the Shaping of Knowledge

Crosbie Smith, Jon Agar

In recent years there has been a growing recognition that a mature analysis of scientific and technological activity requires an understanding of its spatial contexts. Without these contexts, indeed, scientific practice as such is scarcely conceivable. Making Space for Science brings together contributors with diverse interests in the history, sociology and cultural studies of science and technology since the Renaissance. The editors aim to provide a series of studies, drawn from the history of science and engineering, from sociology and sociology and science, from literature and science, and from architecture and design history, which examine the spatial foundations of the sciences from a number of complementary perspectives.

Publication Date: March 1998

Surgery and Society in Peace and War
Orthopaedics and the Organization of Modern Medicine, 1880-1948

Roger Cooter

This book illuminates how crucial transformations in medical politics and organisation were linked to wider changes in society, economy and ideology. Paying particular attention to developments in medical welfare for physically handicapped children, wounded soldiers and injured workers, this extensively documented study challenges conventional accounts of medical specialisation; provides Anglo-American comparisons; and demonstrates the importance for medical modernity of changing interactions between philanthropy, war, labour, capital and the state.

Publication Date: March 1993

From Biological Warfare to Healthcare
Porton Down, 1940-2000

Peter M Hammond, Gradon Carter

Using primary sources and personal experience, this book traces the origins of microbiology at the government establishments at Porton Down. Begun in secrecy during World War II, early work concentrated on a response to the threat of biological warfare from Germany. It traces Porton's pioneering work on deadly diseases such as anthrax, through to the Centre's modern role in healthcare. It provides an invaluable source of information for scientists and historians alike, particularly for those interested in political and military history.

Back to top

Yale University Press

Medicine and the German Jews - A history

John A Efron

Medicine played an important role in the early secularisation and eventual modernisation of German Jewish culture. And as both physicians and patients Jews exerted a great influence on the formation of modern medical discourse and practice. This fascinating book investigates the relationship between German Jews and medicine from medieval times until its demise under the Nazis.
John Efron examines the rise of the German Jewish physician in the Middle Ages and his emergence as a new kind of secular, Jewish intellectual in the early modern period and beyond. The author shows how nineteenth-century medicine regarded Jews as possessing distinct physical and mental pathologies, which in turn led to the emergence in modern Germany of the 'Jewish body' as a cultural and scientific idea. He demonstrates why Jews flocked to the medical profession in Germany and Austria, noting that by 1933, 50 percent of Berlin's and 60 percent of Vienna's physicians were Jewish. He discusses the impact of this on Jewish and German culture, concluding with the fate of Jewish doctors under the Nazis, whose assault on them was designed to eliminate whatever intimacy has been built up between Germans and their Jewish doctors over the centuries.

Publication date: June 2001

Sexual Chemistry
A History of the Contraceptive Pill

Lara Marks

Heralded as the catalyst of the sexual revolution and the solution to global over-population, the contraceptive pill was one of the twentieth century's most important inventions. It has not only transformed the lives of millions of women but has also pushed the limits of drug monitoring and regulation across the world. This deeply-researched new history of the oral contraceptive shows how its development and use have raised crucial questions about the relationship between science, medicine, technology and society.
Lara Marks traces the scientific origins of the pill to Europe and Mexico in the early years of the twentieth century, challenging previous accounts that championed it as a North American product. She explores the reasons why the pill took so long to be developed and explains why it did not prove to be the social panacea envisioned by its inventors. Unacceptable to the Catholic Church, rejected by countries such as India and Japan, too expensive for women in poor countries, it has, more recently, been linked to cardiovascular problems. Reviewing the positive effects of the pill, Marks shows how it has been transformed from a tool for the prevention of conception to a major weapon in the fight against cancer.

Publication date: May 2001

Back to top