The Butchering Art
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Winner, 2018 PEN/E.O. Wilson Prize for Literary Science Writing Short-listed for the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize A Top 10 Science Book of Fall 2017, Publishers Weekly A Best History Book of 2017, The Guardian "Warning: She spares no detail!" —Erik Larson, bestselling author of Dead Wake In The Butchering Art, the historian Lindsey Fitzharris reveals the shocking world of nineteenth-century surgery and shows how it was transformed by advances made in germ theory and antiseptics between 1860 and 1875. She conjures up early operating theaters—no place for the squeamish—and surgeons, who, working before anesthesia, were lauded for their speed and brute strength. These pioneers knew that the aftermath of surgery was often more dangerous than patients’ afflictions, and they were baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high. At a time when surgery couldn’t have been more hazardous, an unlikely figure stepped forward: a young, melancholy Quaker surgeon named Joseph Lister, who would solve the riddle and change the course of history. Fitzharris dramatically reconstructs Lister’s career path to his audacious claim that germs were the source of all infection and could be countered by a sterilizing agent applied to wounds. She introduces us to Lister’s contemporaries—some of them brilliant, some outright criminal—and leads us through the grimy schools and squalid hospitals where they learned their art, the dead houses where they studied, and the cemeteries they ransacked for cadavers. Eerie and illuminating, The Butchering Art celebrates the triumph of a visionary surgeon whose quest to unite science and medicine delivered us into the modern world.
"Warning: She spares no detail!" —Erik Larson, bestselling author of Dead Wake A Top 10 Science Book of Fall 2017, Publishers Weekly "Fascinating and shocking." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) The gripping story of how Joseph Lister’s antiseptic method changed medicine forever In The Butchering Art, the historian Lindsey Fitzharris reveals the shocking world of nineteenth-century surgery on the eve of profound transformation. She conjures up early operating theaters—no place for the squeamish—and surgeons, working before anesthesia, who were lauded for their speed and brute strength. These medical pioneers knew that the aftermath of surgery was often more dangerous than their patients’ afflictions, and they were baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high. At a time when surgery couldn’t have been more hazardous, an unlikely figure stepped forward: a young, melancholy Quaker surgeon named Joseph Lister, who would solve the deadly riddle and change the course of history. Fitzharris dramatically recounts Lister’s discoveries in gripping detail, culminating in his audacious claim that germs were the source of all infection—and could be countered by antiseptics. Focusing on the tumultuous period from 1850 to 1875, she introduces us to Lister and his contemporaries—some of them brilliant, some outright criminal—and takes us through the grimy medical schools and dreary hospitals where they learned their art, the deadhouses where they studied anatomy, and the graveyards they occasionally ransacked for cadavers. Eerie and illuminating, The Butchering Art celebrates the triumph of a visionary surgeon whose quest to unite science and medicine delivered us into the modern world.
DAILY MAIL, GUARDIAN AND OBSERVER BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2017 Winner of the 2018 PEN/E.O. Wilson Prize for Literary Science Writing Shortlisted for the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize and the 2018 Wolfson History Prize The story of a visionary British surgeon whose quest to unite science and medicine delivered us into the modern world - the safest time to be alive in human history In The Butchering Art, historian Lindsey Fitzharris recreates a critical turning point in the history of medicine, when Joseph Lister transformed surgery from a brutal, harrowing practice to the safe, vaunted profession we know today. Victorian operating theatres were known as 'gateways of death', Fitzharris reminds us, since half of those who underwent surgery didn't survive the experience. This was an era when a broken leg could lead to amputation, when surgeons often lacked university degrees, and were still known to ransack cemeteries to find cadavers. While the discovery of anaesthesia somewhat lessened the misery for patients, ironically it led to more deaths, as surgeons took greater risks. In squalid, overcrowded hospitals, doctors remained baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high. At a time when surgery couldn't have been more dangerous, an unlikely figure stepped forward: Joseph Lister, a young, melancholy Quaker surgeon. By making the audacious claim that germs were the source of all infection - and could be treated with antiseptics - he changed the history of medicine forever. With a novelist's eye for detail, Fitzharris brilliantly conjures up the grisly world of Victorian surgery, revealing how one of Britain's greatest medical minds finally brought centuries of savagery, sawing and gangrene to an end. 'A brilliant and gripping account of the almost unimaginable horrors of surgery and post-operative infection before Joseph Lister transformed it all' Henry Marsh, author of Do No Harm
What won’t we try in our quest for perfect health, beauty, and the fountain of youth? Well, just imagine a time when doctors prescribed morphine for crying infants. When liquefied gold was touted as immortality in a glass. And when strychnine—yes, that strychnine, the one used in rat poison—was dosed like Viagra. Looking back with fascination, horror, and not a little dash of dark, knowing humor, Quackery recounts the lively, at times unbelievable, history of medical misfires and malpractices. Ranging from the merely weird to the outright dangerous, here are dozens of outlandish, morbidly hilarious “treatments”—conceived by doctors and scientists, by spiritualists and snake oil salesmen (yes, they literally tried to sell snake oil)—that were predicated on a range of cluelessness, trial and error, and straight-up scams. With vintage illustrations, photographs, and advertisements throughout, Quackery seamlessly combines macabre humor with science and storytelling to reveal an important and disturbing side of the ever-evolving field of medicine.
PLEASE NOTE: This is a summary, analysis and review of the book and not the original book. Author Lindsey Fitzharris' The Butchering Art cuts beneath the surface of John Lister's life to unveil a titanic intellectual struggle in the world of medicine, as well as Lister's role in a major medical innovation. This SUMOREADS Analysis offers supplementary material to The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine to help you distill the key takeaways, review the book's content, and offers insight into the writing style and overall themes. Whether you'd like to supplement your understanding, refresh your memory, or simply decide whether or not this book is for you, FastReads Analysis is here to help. Absorb everything you need to know in less than 20 minutes. What does this SUMOREADS Analysis Include? A short synopsis of the original book Editorial Review of the writing style and content Key takeaways of the author's main points A short bio of the author Supplementary information on the original title Original Book Summary Overview The Butchering Art is a fascinating read for anyone with a remote interest in the strange. Science buffs will especially love this book. Lindsey Fitzharris follows 19th Century surgeon Joseph Lister as he navigates the strange, squalid world of Victorian medicine, where filth and gore abound. Lister tries to incorporate science, particularly his germ theory, into medical research, but all along the way he has to fight resistance from adherents to the status quo. BEFORE YOU BUY: The purpose of this SUMOREADS Analysis is to help you decide if it's worth the time, money and effort reading the original book (if you haven't already). SUMOREADS has pulled out the essence-but only to help you ascertain the value of the book for yourself. This analysis is meant as a supplement to, and not a replacement for, the original book.
DIY fever + quality meat mania = old-school butchery revival! Artisan cooks who are familiar with their farmers market are now buying small farm raised meat in butcher-sized portions. Dubbed a rock star butcher by the New York Times, San Francisco chef and self-taught meat expert Ryan Farr demystifies the butchery process with 500 step-by-step photographs, master recipes for key cuts, and a primer on tools, techniques, and meat handling. This visual manual is the first to teach by showing exactly what butchers know, whether cooks want to learn how to turn a primal into familiar and special cuts or to simply identify everything in the case at the market.
WINNER OF THE MEDICAL JOURNALISTS' OPEN BOOK AWARD 2005 Revered and feared in equal measure, John Hunter was the most famous surgeon of eighteenth-century London. Rich or poor, aristocrat or human freak, suffering Georgians knew that Hunter's skills might well save their lives but if he failed, their corpses could end up on his dissecting table, their bones and organs destined for display in his remarkable, macabre museum. Maverick medical pioneer, adored teacher, brilliant naturalist, Hunter was a key figure of the Enlightenment who transformed surgery, advanced biological understanding and even anticipated the evolutionary theories of Darwin. He provided inspiration both for Dr Jekyll and Dr Dolittle. But the extremes to which he went to pursue his scientific mission raised question marks then as now. John Hunter's extraordinary world comes to life in this remarkable, award-winning biography written by a wonderful new talent.
Today, astonishing surgical breakthroughs are making limb transplants, face transplants, and a host of other previously un dreamed of operations possible. But getting here has not been a simple story of medical progress. In Blood and Guts, veteran science writer Richard Hollingham weaves a compelling narrative from the key moments in surgical history. We have a ringside seat in the operating theater of University College Hospital in London as world-renowned Victorian surgeon Robert Liston performs a remarkable amputation in thirty seconds—from first cut to final stitch. Innovations such as Joseph Lister's antiseptic technique, the first open-heart surgery, and Walter Freeman's lobotomy operations, among other breakthroughs, are brought to life in these pages in vivid detail. This is popular science writing at it's best.
For readers of Atul Gawande and Paul Kalanithi, a palliative care doctor's breathtaking stories from 30 years spent caring for the dying. Modern medical technology is allowing us to live longer and fuller lives than ever before. And for the most part, that is good news. But with changes in the way we understand medicine come changes in the way we understand death. Once a familiar, peaceful, and gentle -- if sorrowful -- transition, death has come to be something from which we shield our eyes, as we prefer to fight desperately against it rather than accept its inevitability. Dr. Kathryn Mannix has studied and practiced palliative care for thirty years. In With the End in Mind , she shares beautifully crafted stories from a lifetime of caring for the dying, and makes a compelling case for the therapeutic power of approaching death not with trepidation, but with openness, clarity, and understanding. Weaving the details of her own experiences as a caregiver through stories of her patients, their families, and their distinctive lives, Dr. Mannix reacquaints us with the universal, but deeply personal, process of dying. With insightful meditations on life, death, and the space between them, With the End in Mind describes the possibility of meeting death gently, with forethought and preparation, and shows the unexpected beauty, dignity, and profound humanity of life coming to an end.
Surgeon Arnold van de Laar uses his own experience and expertise to tell this engrossing history of surgery through 28 famous operations—from Louis XIV and Einstein to JFK and Houdini. From the story of the desperate man from seventeenth-century Amsterdam who grimly cut a stone out of his own bladder to Bob Marley's deadly toe, Under the Knife offers a wealth of fascinating and unforgettable insights into medicine and history via the operating room. What happens during an operation? How does the human body respond to being attacked by a knife, a bacterium, a cancer cell or a bullet? And, as medical advances continuously push the boundaries of what medicine can cure, what are the limits of surgery? With stories spanning the dark centuries of bloodletting and amputations without anaesthetic through today's sterile, high-tech operating rooms, Under the Knife is both a rich cultural history, and a modern anatomy class for us all.