The Invention of Surgery: A History of Modern Medicine: From the Renaissance to the Implant Revolution

One of the advantages of making books available across platforms –digital and print– has been the increase in the voracious appetites of readers. It is enabling readers to be at ease with inter-discilinary texts. It has also given publishers the joy of commissioning texts that appeal to lay readers but are encyclopaedic in material with the possibility of many spinoffs in rights deals. The Invention of Surgery, A History of Modern Medicine: From the Renaissance to the Implant Revolution is one such book. Packed with information, anecdotes, historical facts etc detailing the revolution in technology through history reformed surgical practices. And it is an evolutionary process that is ongoing. It is also an astonishing reminder that much of the surgical theory and practices that we are familiar with were discovered during the Victorian Age and twentieth century. Somehow this book reminded me of of the superb BBC TV documentary series made in 1985 called “Soldiers”. It was hosted by author Frederick Forsyth and scripted by renowned historian John Keegan. ‘Soldiers’ told the history of men in battles, bringing together footage, oral histories, interviews etc. It was a fascinating patchwork that really brought the life of soldiers during the World Wars to life. Same holds true for Schneider’s book with regard to modern medicine and surgery. It is a connecting of dots with minute details that makes for a fascinating historical account. I only wish that the font size was bigger and margins broader.

Nevertheless I hope it is turned into a television series soon!

8 Nov 2020

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