Blood and Guts

Blood and Guts

A History of Surgery

Book - 2009
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Today, astonishing surgical breakthroughs are making limb transplants, face transplants, and a host of other previously un dreamed of operations possible. But getting here has not been a simple story of medical progress. In Blood and Guts , veteran science writer Richard Hollingham weaves a compelling narrative from the key moments in surgical history. We have a ringside seat in the operating theater of University College Hospital in London as world-renowned Victorian surgeon Robert Liston performs a remarkable amputation in thirty seconds--from first cut to final stitch. Innovations such as Joseph Lister's antiseptic technique, the first open-heart surgery, and Walter Freeman's lobotomy operations, among other breakthroughs,are brought to life in these pages in vivid detail. This is popular science writing at it's best.

Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, [2009]
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780312575465
Branch Call Number: 617 HOL
Characteristics: 319 p. ; 25 cm.


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Apr 15, 2016

I really enjoyed reading this once I got used to the scenes of horror that were being described. Hollingham covers the history of surgery and major developments in surgical procedures of the heart, brain, as well as discussing how the mysteries of bacterial infection stunted surgical development for so long, until it was properly understood. The engaging tone makes this less of a slog than you might think.

I read another great, but dense, book on medical history called Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires: The History of Corpse Medicine from the Renaissance to the Victorians, by Richard Sugg. It's not in the HPL catalogue, but is worth hunting down if you're interested in medical history.

Hollingham's Blood and Guts is very much like Mary Roach's micro-histories: light, yet informative.

4 stars, recommended!

Oct 15, 2015

I like medical history, and this was fairly well-done. I was anticipating more chronology of surgical advancements, but the book had more focus on the evolution of transplant surgery. Still, interesting and worthwhile for a medical history buff.

Jul 26, 2015

Really good. Really bloody and sometimes scary, and really, really interesting!

Nov 07, 2011

This book was an interesting and easy read even though each chapter is presented as a series of vignettes that is more suited to a TV program than a book. It has some pretty graphic details and has made me exceptionally grateful for not only the medical advances that have taken place (and centuries I'm glad I didn't live through), but for the ethical practices that are now a requirement for any experimental procedure.

Aug 25, 2011

Wow what a great read. I loved this book. It was very informative, funny, and gory at times. I would recommend to anybody (with a strong stomach). A very well written book.

Kassaundra Benoit
Jun 24, 2010

One of my favorite books. I saw the TV series of this and like the title "Blood & Guts" it's gory,informative, and really great.


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Kassaundra Benoit
Jun 27, 2010

Kassaundra Benoit thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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Kassaundra Benoit
Jun 27, 2010

Violence: This title contains Violence.


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