Erwin H. Ackerknecht's A Short History of Medicine is a concise narrative, long appreciated by students in the history of medicine, medical students, historians, and medical professionals as well as all those seeking to understand the history of medicine.
Covering the broad sweep of discoveries from parasitic worms to bacilli and x-rays, and highlighting physicians and scientists from Hippocrates and Galen to Pasteur, Koch, and Roentgen, Ackerknecht narrates Western and Eastern civilization's work at identifying and curing disease. He follows these discoveries from the library to the bedside, hospital, and laboratory, illuminating how basic biological sciences interacted with clinical practice over time. But his story is more than one of laudable scientific and therapeutic achievement. Ackerknecht also points toward the social, ecological, economic, and political conditions that shape the incidence of disease. Improvements in health, Ackerknecht argues, depend on more than laboratory knowledge: they also require that we improve the lives of ordinary men and women by altering social conditions such as poverty and hunger.
This revised and expanded edition includes a new foreword and concluding biographical essay by Charles E. Rosenberg, Ackerknecht's former student and a distinguished historian of medicine. A new bibliographic essay by Lisa Haushofer explores recent scholarship in the history of medicine.
Erwin H. Ackerknecht (1906-1988), a professor of the history of medicine at the University of Zurich from 1957 to 1971 and one of the world's most distinguished medical historians, was the author of Short History of Psychiatry and Medicine at the Paris Hospital, 1794-1848. Charles E. Rosenberg is the Ernest E. Monrad Professor in the Social Sciences and professor of the history of science emeritus at Harvard University. He is the author of Our Present Complaint: American Medicine, Then and Now and The Cholera Years: The United States in 1832, 1849, and 1866.
List of IllustrationsForeword by Charles E. RosenbergPreface, 1982 EditionPreface to the First EditionWhy Medical History?Paleopathology and PaleomedicinePrimitive MedicineMedicine of Ancient CivilizationsAncient India and ChinaGreek MedicineGreek MedicineGreek MedicineMedieval MedicineRenaissance MedicineMedicine in the Seventeenth CenturyMedicine in the Eigh teenth CenturyThe Clinical Schools of the First Half of the Nineteenth CenturyThe Basic Sciences during the Nineteenth CenturyClinical Medicine of the Second Half of the Nineteenth CenturyMicrobiologySurgery and Gynecology in the Nineteenth CenturyThe New Specialism of the Nineteenth CenturyPublic Health and Professional Developments in the Nineteenth CenturyMedicine in the United States Prior to 1900EpilogueConcluding Essay. Erwin H. Ackerknecht, Social Medicine, and the History of MedicineBibliographic Essay by Lisa HaushoferIndex