The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest To Transform The Grisly World Of Victorian Medicine
- General Science
A ghastly world transformed
The world of nineteenth-century surgery was not for the squeamish, and in the pre-antibiotic age, it was no surprise that persistent infections kept mortality rates shockingly high. Into this void an unlikely figure emerged: a young, melancholy Quaker surgeon named Joseph Lister, who would change the course of history.
Equal parts compelling history and morbid humor à la Mary Roach, The Butchering Art illuminates the grisly nature of nineteenth-century medicine, leading to Lister's audacious claim that germs were the source of all infection and could be countered by sterilizing agents. Eerie and illuminating, it celebrates the triumph of a visionary surgeon whose quest to unite science and medicine delivered us into the modern world.
A Top 10 Science Book of Fall 2017, Publishers Weekly
"In The Butchering Art, Lindsey Fitzharris becomes our Dante, leading us through the macabre hell of nineteenth-century surgery to tell the story of Joseph Lister, the man who solved one of medicine's most daunting-and lethal-puzzles. With gusto, Dr. Fitzharris takes us into the operating ‘theaters' of yore, as Lister awakens to the true nature of the killer that turned so many surgeries into little more than slow-moving executions. Warning: She spares no detail!"-Erik Larson, author of Dead Wake and The Devil in the White City
"With an eye for historical detail and an ear for vivid prose, Lindsey Fitzharris tells a spectacular story about one of the most important moments in the history of medicine-the rise of sterile surgery. The Butchering Art is a spectacular book-deliciously gruesome and utterly gripping. You will race through it, wincing as you go, but never wanting to stop."-Ed Yong, author of I Contain Multitudes
"The Butchering Art is medical history at its most visceral and vivid. It will make you forever grateful to Joseph Lister, the man who saved us from the horror of pre-antiseptic surgery, and to Lindsey Fitzharris, who brings to life the harrowing and deadly sights, smells, and sounds of a nineteenth-century hospital."-Caitlin Doughty, author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and From Here to Eternity
"The Butchering Art is a brilliant and gripping account of the almost unimaginable horrors of surgery and post-operative infection before Joseph Lister transformed it all with his invention of antisepsis. It is the story of one of the truly great men of medicine and of the triumph of humane scientific method and dogged persistence over dogmatic ignorance."-Henry Marsh, author of Do No Harm
About the Author
Lindsey Fitzharris has a Ph.D. in the history of science and medicine from the University of Oxford. She is the creator of the popular website The Chirurgeon's Apprentice, and writer and presenter of the YouTube series Under the Knife. She writes for The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Lancet, and New Scientist.
Additional Book Details
|Release Date:||October 17, 2017|