Some new books for December

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Welcome back! Start off the semester with a look at some of the new items we acquired last month.


Medical history education for health practitioners / Lisetta Lovett and Alannah Tomkins ; foreword by Paul Lazarus. London: Radcliffe Publishing, 2013.

The history of medicine and the development of the medical profession add beneficial context to medical education and have been integrated into curricula in different ways. This new book provides an overview of medical history designed specifically for students in medical fields, concentrating largely on the development of the medical profession. Find a review from the Nursing Standard here [McGill users only].


Autour de la médicalisation : perspectives historiques, pratiques et représentations (XVe-XXe siècles) / sous la direction de Joceline Chabot, Daniel Hickey et Martin Pâquet. Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval, 2012.

This collection explores the issue of medicalization, from the Middle Ages through the advent of laboratory medicine in the 20th century.

From the publisher’s website:

Autour de la médicalisation s’intéresse d’abord aux voies juridiques des activités médicales et paramédicales de la période médiévale à la révolution scientifique au XVIIIe siècle. Puis, l’ouvrage explore les contours de l’exercice des soins depuis le XIXe siècle, en s’intéressant plus précisément aux infirmières, ces praticiennes qui prennent soin de leurs patients. Dans un troisième temps, il étudie l’élaboration et la propagation de nouvelles règles et normes à l’époque contemporaine. Enfin, des contributions analytiques plus globales offrent une réflexion sur la médicalisation comme processus sociohistorique dans une perspective pluriséculaire.


Modern German midwifery, 1885-1960 / by Lynne Fallwell. London : Pickering & Chatto, 2013.

The end of the 19th century is generally considered to have seen a shift from traditional midwifery to medicalized childbirth overseen by male doctors. Fallwell’s examination of this shift in the German context adds a nuance to historical discussion, focusing on the efforts and participation of German midwives in the transition. From the series Studies for the Society for the Social History of Medicine.


The spaces of the hospital : spatiality and urban change in London, 1680-1820 / Dana Arnold. London: Routledge, 2013.

Architectural historian Dana Arnold explores the history of the hospital as a self-contained space and one that interacts with a complex metropolitan environment during a time of urban and demographic change. Eight London hospitals provide case studies.


Some new titles for November

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Settling in for a long winter’s nap? Not before some bedtime reading! Have a look at some of these, new in November.


The fabric of the human body : an annotated translation of the 1543 and 1555 editions / Andreas Vesalius; translated by Daniel H. Garrison and Malcolm H. Hast. Basel : Karger, 2014.

The year 2013 marks 500 years since the birth of Andreas Vesalius, the iconic Renaissance anatomist, whose De humani corporis fabrica is a monument in the history of medicine. This is a new translation of the book’s two editions and features essays by well-known historians of medicine Vivian Nutton and Nancy Siraisi.


Child workers and industrial health in Britain, 1780-1850 / Peter Kirby. Woodbridge, Suffolk : The Boydell Press, 2013.

What were the health effects on children of working in the textiles and mining industries as laborers during the Victorian period?

From the publisher’s website:

In this comprehensive study, Peter Kirby places the occupational health of employed children within a broad context of social, industrial and environmental change during the period 1780 to 1850. The book explores the deformities, fevers, respiratory complaints, industrial injuries and physical ill-treatment which have long been associated with child labour in the factory workplace. The result is a more nuanced picture of child health and child labour during the classic ‘factory age’ which raises important questions about the enduring stereotype of the health-impaired and abused industrial child.


Expériences de la folie : criminels, soldats, patients en psychiatrie (XIXe-XXe siècle) / sous la direction de Laurence Guignard, Hervé Guillemain, Stéphane Tison. Rennes : Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2013.

“ Sur 3 832 soldats soignés dans le service des psychoses du camp retranché de Paris au cours de l’année 1916, 
653 sont considérés comme des « alcooliques avancés »  ”. The authors of this collection look at patient experiences of psychiatric illness during the 19th and 20th centuries in connection with the judicial, military, and hospital systems that were defining what it meant to be “mentally ill.”


Toxicants, health and regulation since 1945 / edited by Soraya Boudia and Nathalie Jas. London : Pickering & Chatto, 2013.

The authors in this volume document the rise of environmental pollutants in the second half of the 20th century and regulatory efforts around the world to curtail them and manage risk. Find a review of this book in Social History of Medicine [McGill users only].


Too cold to head to the library? Have a look at what’s available on the history of medicine in Overdrive.


Some new titles for October

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In the quiet & still air of delightful studies… open up one of these October arrivals.


Irish insanity, 1800-2000 / Damien Brennan. Barnsley : New York, NY : Routledge, 2014.

New in the Routledge Advance in Sociology series, this book investigates the national public asylum system in Ireland that was established during the early nineteenth century. You can find a review of this book in journal Nurse Education in Practice [McGill users only] or listen to an interview with the author on RTÉ, an Irish radio program.


Lament of the dead : psychology after Jung’s Red book / James Hillman & Sonu Shamdasani. New York : W.W. Norton & Company, 2013.

Two scholars dissect and discuss Carl Jung’s Red Book, a manuscript book of texts and illustrations that the psychoanalyst created as a record of his unconscious over the course of more than 15 years. You can read a brief review of this book in Publisher’s Weekly (and find a translation of the Red Book here).


Die Steinschneider : eine Kulturgeschichte menschlichen Leidens und ärztlicher Kunst / Dieter Hauri. Berlin : Springer Verlag, 2013.

Calculi, otherwide known as stones, that form in the kidneys or bladder have long afflicted patients and preoccupied doctors. Lithotomy (literally, “cutting stones”) is in fact one of the oldest surgical procedures practiced. This book provides a cultural history of the ailment and its treatment throughout history.


To catch a virus / John Booss and Marilyn J. August. Washington, DC : ASM Press, 2013.

This book weaves together stories and historical research to paint a picture of the history of diagnostic virology, from the 1793 yellow fever outbreak in Philadelphia to the discovery of HIV/AIDS in the 21st century. You can read a review of this book in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases [McGill users only].


Le Corbusier’s Venice hospital project : an investigation into its structural formulation / Mahnaz Shah. Burlington, VT : Ashgate Publishing Company, 2013.

From the publisher’s website:

While Le Corbusier’s urban projects are generally considered confrontational in their relationship to the traditional urban fabric, his proposal for the Venice hospital project remained an exercise in preserving the medieval fabric of the city of Venice through a systemic replication of its urban tissue. This book offers a detailed study of Le Corbusier’s Venice hospital project as a plausible built entity. In addition, it analyses it in the light of its supposed affinity with the medieval urban configuration of the city of Venice.


Some new titles for May

OslerNiche_BooksSmaller copyInterested in some historical summer reading? Here are some ideas from our new acquisitions from last month:


Ways of regulating drugs in the 19th and 20th centuries / edited by Jean-Paul Gaudillière and  Volker Hess. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

The essays assembled in this volume share the perspective that the historiography of science, technology, and medicine, therefore, needs a broader approach toward regulation; an approach taking into account the distinct social worlds involved in regulation, the forms of evidence and expertise mobilized, and the means of intervention chosen in order to tame drugs in factories, offices, consulting rooms and courts. Focusing on case studies, the volume explores the ‘ways of regulating drugs’, which surfaced in the 19th and 20th century, and play a central role in the present world of science, market and medicine.

Includes a contribution by McGill Social Studies of Medicine prof Alberto Cambrosio (with Peter Keating and Andrei Mogoutov ): “What’s in a Pill? On the Informational Enrichment of Anti-Cancer Drugs.”


The identity of the history of science and medicine / Andrew Cunningham. Farnham, Surrey, England ; Burlington, VT. : Ashgate Variorum, c2012.

From the publisher’s website:

In these essays, Andrew Cunningham is concerned with issues of identity – what was the identity of topics, disciplines, arguments, diseases in the past, and whether they are identical with (more usually, how they are not identical with) topics, disciplines, arguments or diseases in the present. Historians usually tend to assume such continuous identities of present attitudes and activities with past ones, and rarely question them; the contention here is that this gives us a false image of the very things in the past that we went to look for.


The great Manchurian plague of 1910-1911 : the geopolitics of an epidemic disease / William C. Summers. New Haven : Yale University Press, c2012.

The  Manchurian plague (or “third pandemic”) was a severe episode of bubonic plague that began in southwest China in the 1850s. Check out a review of this book from the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 68, no. 2 (April 2013) [McGill users only]


Remèdes, onguents, poisons : une histoire de la pharmacie / sous la direction d’Yvan Brohard ; préface et postface d’Axel Kahn. Paris : Université Paris Descartes : Éditions de la Martinière, 2012.

Full of anecdotes and alchemy! Find a discussion with the author Yvan Brohard on the history of pharmacy and medication on the radio show La tête au carré on France Inter.


Inventing intelligence : how America came to worship IQ / Elaine E. Castles. Santa Barbara, Calif. : Praeger, c2012.

Written by a clinical psychologist, this book traces the rise of the IQ test as the key measure of mental capacity, as well as describing historical initiatives to quantify intelligences (phrenology, anyone?). Have a look at a more detailed description on the publisher’s website.


Homöopathie in der DDR : die Geschichte der Homöopathie in der Sowjetischen Besatzungszone und der DDR 1945 bis 1989 ; Hans-Walz-Preisschrift / Anne Nierade. Essen : KVC Verlag, c2012.

This book uncovers the history of homeopathy in the German Democratic Republic. Published as the 2011 winner of a book prize in the history of homeopathy sponsored by the Institute for the History of Medicine of the Robert Bosch Foundation in Germany, this book explores homeopathy as a popular lay medical tradition.


P.S. Ever wondered how to find book reviews? Find some tips here.


Some new titles – March

How was your March? In like a lion, out like a lamb? Too long ago to remember? Lots of new circulating titles came roaring in this month! Here’s a small sampling:


Regimental Practice by John Buchanan, M.D. : an eighteenth-century medical diary and manual, by John Buchanan. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2012.

John Buchanan drew on his experience as a medical officer in the British army to produce his “Regimental Practice,“ a treatise on military medicine. This is a new edition of this 18th century primary resource.


L’ergothérapie au Québec : histoire d’une profession by Francine Ferland and Elisabeth Dutil. [Montréal] : Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 2012.
From Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal:

Il raconte aussi comment cette profession, pratiquée surtout par des femmes, a connu un essor majeur, comment elle est devenue une profession à part entière au Québec et a acquis ses lettres de noblesse. (Alain Bibeau)


L’uroscopie au Moyen Âge : “lire dans un verre la nature de l’homme,” by Laurence Moulinier-Brogi,  Paris : Champion, 2012.

Reviewed in the Cahier des recherches medievales et humanistes/Journal of Medieval and Humanities Studies (Aug. 2012) [open access]. You can also hear an interview with the author with medieval medical historian Danielle Jacquart hosted by famous medievalist Jacques Le Goff on French radio station FranceCulture.


Reproducing women : family and health work across three generations by Marilyn Porter. Halifax: Fernwood, 2012.

A work in the field of sociology of medicine that examines aspects of how woman understand and experience their reproductive health is understood and experienced within family contexts.  Features interviews and stories from Canadian women. From Fernwood Publishing:

…this book examines women’s experience of their “reproductive lives” in order to uncover how women’s experience is rooted in the family and among generational relationships: between mother, daughter, grandmother and granddaughter.


Atlas of epidemic Britain : a twentieth century picture by Matthew Smallman-Raynor and Andrew Cliff. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

A history of infectious disease in Britain over the 20th century, with historical information presented through more than 350 maps, charts, and photographs. Benedict W. Wheeler reviews this work in the journal Critical Public Health, v. 23, no. 1 (2013):121-122. [McGill users].


Why millions died : before the war on infectious diseases by George H. Scherr. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2012.

Scherr examines historical theories of disease causation and why germ theory took so long to be discovered and accepted.

Some new titles – February

Happy March everyone. Let’s check out a selection of titles that we acquired in February. Take a look!


Barefoot doctors and western medicine in China / Xiaoping Fang. Rochester, NY : University of Rochester Press, 2012.

From the University of Rochester Press:

In 1968, at the height of the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese Communist Party endorsed a radical new system of health-care delivery for the rural masses. Soon every village had at least one barefoot doctor to provide basic medical care, creating a national network of health-care services for the very first time. The barefoot doctors were portrayed nationally and internationally as revolutionary heroes, wading undaunted through rice paddies to bring effective, low-cost care to poor peasants. This book is the first comprehensive study to look beyond the nostalgia dominating present scholarship on public health in China and offer a powerful and carefully contextualized critique of the prevailing views on the role of barefoot doctors, their legacy, and their impact.

Lotions, potions, pills, and magic : health care in early America / Elaine G. Breslaw. New York : New York University Press, 2012.

Historian Elaine Breslaw explores the health crises of early American settlements and identifies the array of Western medicine and indigenous healing techniques practiced side-by-side, together, or in conflict in the period following the American Revolution.

Conserver la santé ou la rétablir : le rôle de l’environnement dans la médecine antique et médiévale : actes du colloque international, Saint-Étienne, 23-24 octobre 2008 / textes réunis et présenté par Nicoletta Palmieri. Saint Étienne : Publications de l’Université de Saint Étienne, 2012.

This volume of proceedings from an international colloquium contains work by scholars Jacques Jouanna, Heinrich von Staden, and Klaus-Dietrich Fischer among many others.

Chinese traditional healing : the Berlin collections of manuscript volumes from the 16th through the early 20th century / by Paul U. Unschuld and Zheng Jinsheng. Leiden ; Boston: Brill, 2012.

An impressive three volume set consisting of one volume of essays and two volumes containing a survey of over 800 Chinese medical manuscripts produced for private use from the 16th to the 20th centuries.

Urban planning and public health in Africa : historical, theoretical and practical dimensions of a continent’s water and sanitation problematic / Ambe J. Njoh. Farnham, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, 2012.

The author investigates hygiene and sanitation policies in Africa, and the resulting state of public health, in the light of European colonial urban planning.

Have you had a chance to read any of these yet? What did you think?



Calories and Corsets

New Year’s resolutions already a distant memory? The Centre for Medical Humanities at Durham University in the UK is giving readers of their blog a preview of Louise Foxcroft’s recent book, Calories and Corsets: A History of Dieting Over 2000 Years.

From the publisher’s website:

Calories and Corsets tells the epic story of our complicated relationship with food, the fashions and fads of body shape, and how cultural beliefs and social norms have changed over time. Combining research from medical journals, letters, articles and the dieting bestsellers we continue to devour (including one by an octogenarian Italian in the sixteenth century), Foxcroft reveals the extreme and often absurd lengths people will go to in order to achieve the perfect body, from eating carbolic soap to chewing every morsel hundreds of times to a tasteless pulp.

Read a review of this book from The Lancet, available to McGill users here.

Ready for chapter 2?  Find the book in our catalogue here.