Pros: Excellent read for anyone that loves to learn
Cons: I really wish it was a full history, much longer
The Bottom Line: Incredible wealth of information and pictures of some historic growth in medical history.
I don't know if it is because I am psychology damaged or because I truly love to learn, regardless of the nature, but one of the books in my collection that I have really loved is Mutter Museum: Historic Medical Photographs by Laura Lindgren.
The Concept The book is essentially, 224 pages of incredible photographs as far back as Laura could go of some of the most amazing aspects of medical history. The photographs cover some truly unbelievable injuries, wild diseases that we currently have cures for and some that we don't, as well as a great wealth of photographs on things such as conjoined twins, mutations, a variety of examinations into the different birth defects, and a large variety of other photos.
The book itself truly brings together a great aspect of the history of medicine that we typically don't think about. A lot of times with medicine we think about the actual curing of disease without realizing what goes into it and how different cures and solutions were created. This books allows us to get an idea of how those in each time period thought about medicine with their limited knowledge of the body and remedies. It also helps us to see exactly how medicine has evolved throughout the years.
Probably the most interesting aspect of the book has to be the treatments that were used in order to take care of some major illnesses. I found that some treatments seemed more like a torture than anything else. It was almost like they had no clue how to treat it but rather than using their medical knowledge or common sense they just threw a dart and prayed it landed on a cure. Regardless it makes for a very interesting read.
Quality The pictures themselves were pretty great quality. I figured that most of the pictures being as old as they were would be in much worse condition, but you can definitely see with great detail some of the older x-rays, some of the major wounds, deformities, diseases, and the like with great clarity. Some of the pictures are black and white, which really give you a more artistic look at medical history. Some of the pictures seem more like something you would see on some of the current rock band covers than anything else.
Overall This is an incredible book for anyone that has an interest in history, regardless of what you normally like to read. I think that the information that is provided is very informative and entertaining and I imagine the majority of people would be amazed at just how complicated our medical history truly is. The author did a very excellent job in her research in ensuring that the book is accurate and supported by evidence and research as well. I found that even her sources provided a great wealth of information about the history of medicine and this book just collected all of it into a single book.
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Clacky McSnackins (alaskacobalt)
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A lavishly illustrated collection of historical medical photographs from the archives of the renowned Philadelphia museum focuses on rare and unseen pieces taken as physician records between the 1860s and 1940s.