Porter, R. The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: A Medical History of Humanity

Stephen Bradley HYMS: A classic and very accessible history of medicine. Chapters on modern medicine (since 19th century) are particularly worth reading especially the account of the precocious discovery of sepsis by Hungarian obstetrician Semmelweis and his tragic end (he was driven to insanity by his inability to convince his colleagues to wash their hands).

Publisher: Fontana Press
Year: 1999
ISBN-10: 0006374549

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This a fascinating book – its a bit of a brick, but is does cover all of recorded history! Roy Porter was an excellent historian and a prolific writer who died tragically young – I’m sure we’ll post more of his books in future, particularly those on the history of madness. This link should take you to his Amazon page with links to other books.

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