Recommended Book List of Medical Humanities Topics – Medicine and History

alopah Date:2021-08-02 11:46:59
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In the ancient civilizations of the world, human beings have been carrying out social practice activities to prevent and treat diseases and protect health for thousands of years. People have accumulated a wealth of therapeutic experiences in their long-term medical practices, which were eventually summarized systematically and then evolved into medicine.


In the early days of civilization, many medical activities were performed by clergy. As civilization progressed, philosophical ideas gradually replaced theological explanations, and diseases were no longer regarded as inflicted by demons or punished by the gods. From there, medical personnel with medical care as their profession gradually diverged.


Knowing the way to come is the way to go, and knowing history is the way to learn from the present.


A sudden epidemic, in the early 2021 silently sneaked into our lives, rapid response mechanisms, modern medical measures and strict epidemic prevention and control means to make us in this war against the virus in a certain stage of victory, the battle is not over, reference to the past and look at the present, let us always be ready!


The Great Influenza: The Epic of the Deadliest Plague


Author Bio


John M. Barry, an American author, historian, and former journalist and soccer coach. A frequent contributor to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Fortune Magazine, The Washington Post, and others, he also often appears as a guest commentator on major U.S. broadcasters. Barry’s books have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list several times and are highly acclaimed. Among them, The Rising Tide – The Mississippi River Flood of 1927 and Its Impact on America won the Buckman Prize for historical books in 1998, and won numerous awards including the Smith Prize and the Southern Book Award for Contributions to Southern History, and was named “Good Book of the Year” by the New York Times. “.




The pandemic described in this book refers to the influenza pandemic that swept the world in 1918-1919, with the latest authoritative estimates of the death toll at 50-100 million. This figure is not only higher than the total number of people who have died of AIDS over the years, but far exceeds the number of deaths caused by the Black Death in the Middle Ages.


In this book, author Barry relies on a wealth of historical information and data to retell the tragic events of 1918, recreating the onset and development of the deadliest plague of all, the H1N1 influenza virus, which ravaged the world. The author’s multi-layered discussion portrays the 1918 Spanish pandemic as the first major clash and confrontation between nature and science, intertwining the story of the most devastating influenza in history, depicting in detail the interaction between science, politics, and the spread of the disease, as well as the courage or cowardice, beliefs, values, research attitudes, and methods displayed by scientists and medical workers under enormous pressure. The author also cautions against the use of science, politics, and the spread of disease. At the same time, author Barry also warns that there will certainly be another pandemic in the near future, and the only thing that is uncertain is which flu virus is spreading widely.


Recommended for


Pandemic Influenza: The Epic of the Deadliest Plague was named the best science/medicine book of 2005 by the American Academy of Sciences. This work is not only about the events of 1918, but it is also a definitive saga of science, politics, and culture, and is highly instructive for the development of modern medicine. The book covers everything from the changing political situation in the world to the structure of virus molecules and the mechanism of infestation, even down to the people and events in an unknown village in the United States, down to the character strengths and weaknesses of several scientists and their achievements or endings. The author is like a butcher, writing about the various causes and endings of the Great Influenza and the related medical history, important medical figures, and the reform of medical education. The tragic scenes, the frenzy of the U.S. government, and the presentational spirit of the scientists all make the reader sigh with emotion. This complete and accurate record of events and exquisite and insightful description of details make this book a magnum opus, highly praised by major newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune and The Boston Globe and top medical journals such as JAMA and Nature.


Recommended Book List of Medical Humanities


A Graphic History of Disease: 7000 Years of Impact on World History


About the Author


Mary Dobson, PhD, University of Oxford, is a specialist in the history of medicine. She is the former Director of the Wellcome Research Unit in the History of Medicine at Oxford University, a Fellow of the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University, and a recipient of the Harvard University Harkness Fellowship. In addition to this book, her representative works include An Illustrated History of Medicine, The Oxford Illustrated History of Western Medicine, and An Introduction to Death and Disease in Early Modern England.


Content Introduction


The history of the world might be a different story if there were no diseases in mankind. Categorized by bacterial, parasitic, viral, and lifestyle diseases, this book tells the story of 30 typical diseases that plagued mankind, as well as the general background and behind-the-scenes stories of the times in which these diseases occurred, analyzing their causes, effects, and outcomes. Many vivid historical details can be found everywhere in the book. For example, the history of diseases affecting warfare: the plague accelerated the fall of the ancient Roman Empire, the U.S. Army suffered from yellow fever during the Spanish-American War, how lice made a big fuss about the two world wars, etc.; the development of public health: the 19th century due to infectious diseases set off a sweeping campaign, the early 20th century, the rise of the convalescent movement, the smoking ban in many countries around the beginning of the 21st century, etc.; the evolution of treatment methods: from ancient bloodletting and vomiting therapy, to the 19th The evolution of treatment methods: from bloodletting and emesis in ancient times, to the introduction of anesthesia into surgery in the 19th century, to heart transplantation in the 20th century, etc.; great technological advances: the causative agent of cholera was identified for the first time in 1883, chloramphenicol could cure typhoid fever in 1948, CT scanner for cancer diagnosis was invented in 1972, etc.


Reasons for recommendation


The Pictorial History of Disease by Mary Dobson spans the length of history, using easy-to-understand text and rich illustrations to introduce the enormous impact of disease on human society in an in-depth, rigorous and imaginative manner, exploring the origins and spread of disease and unveiling the mysteries of disease. Through the stories behind important events and people, it discusses how disease has influenced and changed the course of human history. The author’s jargon-free, easy-to-understand text covers the past and present, and is lively and interesting.


The book contains 30 tables of events, 80 knowledge encyclopedias, 200 featured pictures, 300 professional documents, and a glossary of commonly used terms and a master list of Nobel Prizes in medicine, systematically portraying the 7,000-year history of mankind’s struggle against disease, rich in scientific content, not only popularizing scientific knowledge of disease and human health, but also highlighting what kinds of methods mankind used to fight disease at different stages of history.


The Great Physicians: A Biographical History of Western Medicine


About the Author


Henry E. Siegrist (1891-1957) was an expert in the history of medicine of Swiss descent. D., University of Zurich, with a longstanding interest in the history of medicine. He was the director of the Institute for the History of Medicine in Leipzig, Germany, and the director of the Institute for the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. In January 1939, he was featured on the cover of Time magazine and was very influential. He is the author of “A Cultural History of Western Medicine” and “A Cultural History of Disease”.


Content Introduction


This book traces the development of Western medicine for more than 2000 years. Using a person-to-person approach to history, it introduces the lives of more than 50 Western medical practitioners and recounts their explorations and achievements in various fields of medicine. They lived in different times, embodied different cultures, practiced different philosophies and religious beliefs, and put forward different medical views and doctrines: Hippocrates explained human diseases with four body fluids, Erasistratus put forward the “atomistic” view of the human body, Aristotle considered the human body as a “small universe”, and Gaius believed that the human body was a “small universe”. Aristotle considered the human body as a “small universe”, Galen first described the solid structure of the human body, Morgani gave an anatomical orientation to pathology, Bishop created histopathology, Michelson applied cellular theory to pathology, etc. Through the interesting stories of these famous doctors, the author makes it easy for medical practitioners and all those who care about the development of medicine to understand the trajectory of Western medicine. This book is a biographical history of Western medicine with philosophical thinking, and a medical history of mankind’s quest for the mystery of the life of all living things.


Reasons for recommendation


The Great Physicians: A Biographical History of Western Medicine is a unique combination of medical history and professional commentary, highlighting the remarkable character of healers who sought the good and saved lives through the legendary experiences of famous Western physicians. The book chronicles the important development of Western medicine from ancient Greece to the early 20th century. The selected doctors are all giants in the field of medicine in their respective periods, and their tireless efforts and miraculous discoveries have laid a broad and solid foundation for modern medicine. The book is not only a rare reference book on the history of Western medicine, but also an auxiliary textbook for medical school teachers and students to improve the quality of medical humanities, and a fascinating book for public medical appreciation, worthy of being read and savored by everyone who fears life and loves it. It enables every reader to better understand disease and doctors, and to gain insight into the true meaning of life in this world in a short but precious life.


Legendary Medicine: Medical Achievements that Changed the Fate of Mankind


About the Author


This book is co-authored by William Bynum and Helen Bynum. William Bynum is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and Professor Emeritus at University College London, and has studied the history of medicine for over 35 years. Helen Bynum studied anthropology and medicine at University College London, then taught the history of medicine at the University of Liverpool, and is now a freelance editor, writer, and lecturer. Prior to this book, the duo co-authored the award-winning Dictionary of Medical Biography.


Content Description


Beginning with an exploration of the human body and an understanding of health and disease, this book analyzes the ways in which different ancient civilizations understood health and the state of the patient’s body and mind, and introduces the simple and subtle, dazzling early techniques of diagnosis and treatment. It is because of the constant accumulation, exploration and experimentation of early mankind that we are able to understand more and do better than in the past. Immediately after the book talks about the army of microorganisms that share the earth with humans, the accumulation of some endemic diseases, which may even evolve into epidemics that destroy individual lives and disrupt social organization, has plagued humanity in the past and continues to do so. In addition to infectious diseases, the author devotes a large section to the many ways in which medicine can help the sick: in “Medicines that Cure All Diseases,” an in-depth look at a variety of drugs and their effects; and in “Human Breakthroughs in Surgery,” a look at In “Human Surgical Breakthroughs,” the benefits and drawbacks of scalpel insertion are described, as well as some of the key technologies that make modern surgery possible. Finally, the book concludes with a Nobel Prize co-winner, Barry Marshall, who reminds us that in our medical quest, we should insist on clear thinking, dare to question common sense, and have the courage to confront opposing views.


Reasons for Recommendation


Legendary Medicine: Medical Achievements that Changed the Fate of Mankind is a classic work of history, culture, and art. It is also a rare work of popular science that changes the boring appearance of medical history books. The author’s magnificent work, “A Biographical Dictionary of Medicine,” was famous overseas, and now “Legendary Medicine: Medical Achievements that Changed the Fate of Mankind” reproduces his profound medical research skills. The book is packed with images from world-class collections such as the British Museum of Nature, as well as computer-generated images, including manuscripts, paintings, prints, micrographs, cartoons, tables, and real-life photographs. They are highly visual, eye-opening, and of great interest.


A Minimalist History of Medicine


Author Biography


Roy Porter (1946-2002) was an internationally renowned British academic, a Fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He died of a heart attack less than nine months after his retirement, and was mourned by the academic community.


He devoted his life to research, writing and teaching, and has written and edited more than a hundred books in the fields of British social history, history of science, and history of medicine, and is best known for his work in the history of medicine.




The human body is the battlefield between doctors and disease. This war has an opening, a middle, and no end; there are temporary defeats and ultimate victories; in other words, the history of medicine is not just a series of victories paving the way to progress, but a long and winding development. This book explores the historical interactions between people, disease, and health, and places them in the social and faith context of the time. Although the author tells the story of disease and medicine, it is the suffering of the patient and the dying that is reflected between the lines. Humans face a web of disease with no escape and must arm themselves against disease, pain, disability, and premature aging. The author does not write much about individual patients, such as their personal experience of illness and the impact of illness on their lives, but describes in detail the common reactions of patients, such as the fear of illness, the suffering caused by acute and chronic illness, the disability caused by illness, and the fear of death, etc. These are the most common and frightening human experiences that the author feels when writing These feelings of the most common and terrible human experiences were the subtext of the author’s thoughts while writing.


Reasons for Recommendation


The author, Roy Porter, has been the world’s most recognized scholar of medical history for more than two decades. This book is derived from his lecture notes for his classes and provides an overview of the history of Western medicine in eight themes. The author describes the most primitive and universal struggle for survival and health from ancient times to modern times, and intends to show the reader how medicine has evolved step by step in the face of seemingly indestructible and unpredictable diseases. The book also brings together informative information on ancient legends, important figures, medical discoveries and basic facts in the history of Western medicine, profoundly illustrating the close relationship between medical progress and the evolution of civilization, and explaining the connotation that the history of medicine is the history of mankind. The book is simple to the extreme, but not too simple, comprehensive and concise. It is an excellent book for the lay reader who wants to have only a general understanding of the history of Western medicine.

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