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Mending Bodies, Saving Souls : A History of Hospitals - Guenter B. Risse

Mending Bodies, Saving Souls

A History of Hospitals

Hardcover Published: 1st March 1999
ISBN: 9780195055238
Number Of Pages: 736

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By chronicling the transformations of hospitals from houses of mercy to tools of confinement, from dwellings of rehabilitation to spaces for clinical teaching and research, from rooms for birthing and dying to institutions of science and technology, this book provides a historical approach to understanding of today's hospitals. The story is told in a dozen episodes which illustrate hospitals in particular times and places, covering important themes and developments in the history of medicine and therapeutics, from ancient Greece to the era of AIDS. This book furnishes a unique insight into the world of meanings and emotions associated with hospital life and patienthood by including narratives by both patients and care givers. By conceiving of hospitals as houses of order capable of taming the chaos associated with suffering, illness, and death, we can better understand the significance of their ritualized routines and rules. From their beginnings, hospitals were places of spiritual and physical recovery. They should continue to respond to all human needs. As traditional testimonials to human empathy and benevolence, hospitals must endure as spaces of healing.

"The author takes his readers from Greek and Roman times through the pangs of suffering in the early Christian era, the surge of the Enlightenment as exemplified by Edinburgh, Vienna, and Paris, to surgeons such as Warren and Lister and the modern research giants of municipal mercy. Just to review this immense background of our ere is a great treat; Dr. Risse's abundant research and sophisticated interpretation makes this book an intellectual triumph."--Francis D. Moore, MD, Moseley Professor of Surgery, Emeritus, Harvard Medical School "Dr. Risse brings the patient, pilgrim to the "foreign land" of hospitals, to the center of this magnificent, poignant history of medicine. Telling the experiences of actual patients, doctors, and others in hospitals at different times and in different places, Risse brings the hospital to life, vividly, as a place of rituals where some human beings struggle to live; others do the best they can in the face of available medical knowledge and often dangerous social conditions. A remarkable, moving, humane book -- a major contribution to the history of medicine, and highly recommended for the general reader."--Rosemary A. Stevens, Stanley I. Sheerr Endowed Term Professor in Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania "This book, carefully documented and replete with important detail, will be the standard reference for the 'long history' of the Western hospital. It belongs on the shelf with other excellent works that have focused on 19th- and 20th-century hospitals, notably Rosenberg's the Care of Strangers: The Rise of America's Hospital System (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999)." --Choice "Mending Bodies, Saving Souls is an astonishing achievement, and the author's coverage over space and time is awe-inspiring....it lends historical perspective to such recent renewals of institutional community as AIDS wards and hospices for the dying."--Science "Told in 12 clinical episodes, this is the story of Western hospitals from ancient Greece through the Enlightenment to the late 20th century. It's also told with a patient's voice, which makes it possible for contemporary readers to recover a sense of past meanings for patients and providers. Carefully documented and replete with important details, it will be the standard reference for the long history of the Western hospital."--Hospitals and Health Networks "The author takes his readers from Greek and Roman times through the pangs of suffering in the early Christian era, the surge of the Enlightenment as exemplified by Edinburgh, Vienna, and Paris, to surgeons such as Warren and Lister and the modern research giants of municipal mercy. Just to review this immense background of our ere is a great treat; Dr. Risse's abundant research and sophisticated interpretation makes this book an intellectual triumph."--Francis D. Moore, MD, Moseley Professor of Surgery, Emeritus, Harvard Medical School "Dr. Risse brings the patient, pilgrim to the "foreign land" of hospitals, to the center of this magnificent, poignant history of medicine. Telling the experiences of actual patients, doctors, and others in hospitals at different times and in different places, Risse brings the hospital to life, vividly, as a place of rituals where some human beings struggle to live; others do the best they can in the face of available medical knowledge and often dangerous social conditions. A remarkable, moving, humane book -- a major contribution to the history of medicine, and highly recommended for the general reader."--Rosemary A. Stevens, Stanley I. Sheerr Endowed Term Professor in Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania "This is an extraordinary book...massively ambitious in tackling its subject literally from beginning to end. It is impeccably researched and written in an engaging...clear style. Few historians would have the audacity to undertake Risse's brief, and he has succeeded beyond a shadow of a doubt. The publication of this book will be a major event in medical history."--Professor William F. Bynum, Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine "In Mending Bodies, Saving Souls, Guenter Risse presents a bumper history of hospitals that overrides all stereotypes and illuminates the whole of medical history.Science Risse has written a superb book that is likely to become the authoritative one-volume history of hospitals. If a knowledge of medical history provides health care professionals with a broad view that informs their understanding of present trends, there can be few hospital staff members who will not benefit from reading this book.Ihe New England Journal of Medicine MENDING, BODIES, SAVING SOULS Presents an ambitious and meticulously documented history of institutional care of the sick.--JAMA "[Risse's] text brings together a treasure trove of fascinating material, skillfuly organized, and frequently poignant in its impace...a brilliant treatment."--Bulletin of the History of Medicine "Risse's story this becomes a history of health and medicine, while never losing its focus on the patient and the hospital." --New Jersy Medicine "...a tour de force which matches considerable intellectual and historiographical ambition with humane and punctilious scholarship. Risse tells the relatively well-rehearsed story in a distinctive and highly appealing way which will provide pleasure as well as instruction to social, economic, cultural historians as well as to historians of medicine."--Medical History, July 2001 "Guenter Risse's life's work has gone into this massive history of the hospital in the West. It stands besides Roy Porter's history of medicine, The Greatest Benefit to Mankind, yet in many ways is a more profound and accomplished work. It is certainly more original and takes greater risks both in its conception and its execution.--Health & History, February 2000

Introduction 1: Pre-Christian Healing Places 2: Early Christian Hospitality: Shelters and Infirmaries 3: Church and Laity: Partnership in Hospital Care 4: Hospitals as Segregation and Confinement Tools: Leprosy and Plague 5: Enlightenment: Medicalization of the Hospital 6: Human Bodies Revealed: Hospitals in Post-Revolutionary Paris 7: Modern Surgery in Hospitals: Development of Anesthesia and Antisepsis 8: The Limits of Medical Science: Hospitals in Fin de Siècle Europe and America 9: Main Streets Civic Pride: The American General Hospital as Professional Workshop 10: Hospitals at the Crossroads: Government, Society, and Catholicism in America, 1950-1975 11: Hospitals as Biomedical Showcases: Academic Health Centers and Organ Transplantation 12: Caring for the Incurable: AIDS at San Francisco General Hospital 13: Conclusion: Towards the Next Millennium: Hospitals as Houses of Technology

ISBN: 9780195055238
ISBN-10: 0195055233
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 736
Published: 1st March 1999
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.77 x 17.78  x 4.45
Weight (kg): 1.25