Blood and Guts: A Short History of Medicine by Roy Porter
Mankind's battle to stay alive and healthy for as long as possible is our oldest, most universal and formidable struggle. This witty and often shocking book explores the ingenious ways in which we have fought disease over the ages in our quest for immortality. Roy Porter examines the changing role of doctors, from ancient healers, apothecaries and blood-letters to today's professionals; looks at the drugs we have used, from Ayurvedic remedies to the launch of Viagra in 1998; follows the huge advances in surgery, from amputations performed by barbers without anaesthetic to today's sophisticated transplants; and shows how hospitals have been transformed from Christian places of convalescence to modern medical powerhouses. Porter concludes that, while many people lead longer and healthier lives in the 21st century, our worries about illness and our mistrust of medics seem to be greater than ever.