The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching, and the Birth of Modern Surgery
In an era when bloodletting was considered a cure for everything from colds to smallpox, surgeon John Hunter was a medical innovator, an eccentric, and the person to whom anyone who has ever had surgery probably owes his or her life. In this sensational and macabre story, we meet the surgeon who... show more
In an era when bloodletting was considered a cure for everything from colds to smallpox, surgeon John Hunter was a medical innovator, an eccentric, and the person to whom anyone who has ever had surgery probably owes his or her life. In this sensational and macabre story, we meet the surgeon who counted not only luminaries Benjamin Franklin, Lord Byron, Adam Smith, and Thomas Gainsborough among his patients but also “resurrection men” among his close acquaintances. A captivating portrait of his ruthless devotion to uncovering the secrets of the human body, and the extraordinary lengths to which he went to do so—including body snatching, performing pioneering medical experiments, and infecting himself with venereal disease—this rich historical narrative at last acknowledges this fascinating man and the debt we owe him today.
Publish date: September 12th 2006
Publisher: Broadway Books
Pages no: 342
Edition language: English
, History Of Science
A very engaging biography of a fascinating figure: despite being largely self-educated, John Hunter was an intellectual giant who pioneered experimental surgery and applied the scientific method to medicine in a time when most doctors put more stock in ancient texts than verifiable observations. Hun...
This was a bit of an interesting read that takes you back into the late 1700's and headfirst into the medical fields where surgery is starting to emerge from the barbers as a more prestigious field. And in the middle of this transition into scientific thinking and experiments and modern surgery is J...
John Hunter rose from a poor Scottish farming family to become one of the leading men of science and medicine. His courage (he inserted a knife's point covered in pus into his urethra to see if syphilis and gonorrhea were the same disease! omg!), his lack of hypocrisy (in an age when even surgeons,...
Got halfway through this last year in 2006 before the stupid library demanded I give it back. I have every intention of reading the rest of it one day. Soon. Yeah, soon.