Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution
"A fast-paced and fascinating ride through a dark and devious period in science, Blood Work is a witty, insightful, and skillfully written book that sheds light on the mysterious story of blood transfusion." --Wendy Moore, author of The Knife ManOn a cold day in 1667, a renegade physician named... show more
"A fast-paced and fascinating ride through a dark and devious period in science, Blood Work is a witty, insightful, and skillfully written book that sheds light on the mysterious story of blood transfusion." --Wendy Moore, author of The Knife ManOn a cold day in 1667, a renegade physician named Jean Denis transfused calf's blood into one of Paris's most notorious madmen. In doing so, Denis angered not only the elite scientists who had hoped to perform the first animal-to-human transfusions themselves, but also a host of powerful conservatives who believed that the doctor was toying with forces of nature that he did not understand. Just days after the experiment, the madman was dead, and Denis was framed for murder. A riveting account of the first blood transfusion experiments in 17th-century Paris and London, Blood Work gives us a vivid glimpse of a particularly fraught period in history--a time of fire and plague, empire building and international distrust, when monsters were believed to inhabit the seas and the boundary between science and superstition was still in flux. Amid this atmosphere of uncertainty, transfusionists like Denis became embroiled in the hottest cultural debates and fiercest political rivalries of their day. As historian Holly Tucker reveals, transfusion's detractors would stop at nothing--not even murdering Denis's patient--to outlaw a practice that might jeopardize human souls, pave the way for monstrous hybrid creatures, or even provoke divine retribution.Taking us from the highest ranks of society to the lowest, from dissection rooms in palaces to the filth-clogged streets of Paris, Blood Work sheds light on an era that wrestled with the same questions about morality and experimentation that haunt medical science to this day.
Publish date: March 21st 2011
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Pages no: 304
Edition language: English
, History Of Science
, True Crime
, 17th Century
Book was organized around the narrative instead of chronological which worked but nessecitated some jumping around and repeating. Liked the intertwining of science, politics, religion-- really felt like I got a feel for the time rather than just facts. Not just a dry recounting, and while there is s...
Lots of back story and gruesome details of the yelping and crying of dogs being tortured in name of the medical science. I wish the author would have concentrated more on the actual mystery, itself. I'll give it to a coworker, and she can't keep it; I won't be reading this again. I'm not saying it's...
In one way, this book is difficult to read. It deals with some truly horrific experiments in the name of science and some truly horrific human stupidity.In another way, this book is easy to read. The writing flows smoothly, the events narrated are fascinating and the science is explained in a way ...