The Making of Modern Medicine

Author: Andrew Cunningham
Starring: Andrew Cunningham
BBC Audio
RRP: 25.00
ISBN-13: 978 1 846 07158 4
ISBN-10: 1 84607 158 5
Available 05 March 2007

This series covers
over 2000 years of medical history and draws on a vast range of original sources from diaries, medical journals and stage satires to shed light on the experiences of physicians, surgeons, nurses and patients. From classical beliefs about illness that would dominate medical thinking for centuries, through to the rise of the great hospitals and the work of the Renaissance anatomists, this fascinating and entertaining series reveals how, in the early 19th Century, modern scientific medicine was born out of a medical "Big Bang" erupting from the white heat of the French Revolution, which would lead to clinical medicine as we know it today...

The Making of Modern Medicine charts the development of Western medicine and healing from the ancient Greeks to the pioneering organ transplant operations of the 20th Century and beyond. Spread over six CDs, the series covers everything you could ever wish to know (and more than a handful of horrific things you could probably do without knowing) about the history of modern medicine.

Each of the six CDs contains five episodes from the series. There's more than a few eye-opening facts, and it really is a wonder that the science of medicine has come as far as it has - especially when you take it back to its beginnings and learn how plain barbaric some of the practices were.

One of the more interesting aspects looks back at the crude origins of an early form of plastic surgery. Here noses, lips and eyelids could all be replaced by removing skin from other parts of the body. While we think of it as a more recent addition to medicine, it was in fact practised much earlier - the main subjects were the victims of duels.

Written and presented by Andrew Cunningham, an authority on social and scientific medical history, it includes a wide variety of highly illustrative extracts read by acclaimed actors including Tamsin Greig, Annette Badland, David Rintoul and Peter Capaldi.

Whether you're interested in what it was like to be ill in earlier times, the emergence of women in medicine, the advent of the stethoscope, or the development of antibiotic treatment, this series offers an entertaining and thought-provoking insight into these and many other medical issues.

An interesting and well researched examination of the history of one of the most important cornerstones of our culture.

Pete Boomer

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