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The Medical Mandarins : The French Academy of Medicine in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries - George Weisz

The Medical Mandarins

The French Academy of Medicine in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries

Hardcover Published: 1st February 1995
ISBN: 9780195090376
Number Of Pages: 328

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This wide-ranging and imaginative book examines the social and scientific role of the French Academy of Medicine from its creation in 1820 to the outbreak of the Second World War. The first chapters focus on the institution and its activities, including the evaluation of medical innovations and the cultivation of professional memory through eulogies and institutional art. Weisz argues that the Academy was gradually transformed from a low-status public institution that was central to French medical science in the nineteenth century to an "establishment" institution largely irrelevant to medical science but playing a key role in public health policy. The second half of the book uses the activities and literary productions of the Academy to explore broader issues of medical history. The Academy's role in the regulation and scientific study of mineral waters illuminates processes of discipline formation in medical science and explores the therapeutic specificity of French medicine. Academic debates are used to investigate the appropriation of new research techniques like animal experimentation and quantification in therapeutic reasoning. Academic eulogies provide a starting point for the evolving medical and scientific reputation of Laennec, the inventor of ausculation, Using techniques of prosopography applied to the membership of the Academy, Weisz goes on to analyze the role of the Parisian medical elite in French medicine and its social place within the French bourgeoisie. His concluding chapter examines the emerging self-images of this Parisian elite in academic eulogies.

Industry Reviews

"A wonderfully rich depiction of the French Academy of medicine, and a magnificent exploration of the rituals, politics, and scientific enterprises of elite medical culture in the making. Weisz has provided an impressively researched and gracefully written investigation of the function and meaning of an institution that reached virtually every corner of French medical life. This is one of those rare books that should be read by everyone interested in the culture of medical elites in any national context."--John Harley Warner, Yale University "The Medical Mandarins will deservedly become a model for future studies of the rise of medical elites. In it George Weisz has achieved something as original as it is substantial: a detailed elucidation of the transformation of medical power in the age of professionalization."--Prof. Roy Porter, Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, London "Provides intriguing insights into an important era in the scientific and professional growth of medicine....The author writes in a very scholarly fashion, using arguments that are rigorous, thoroughly researched, and well-referenced, yet presented in an accessible and lively style....Will be useful for those interested in learning more about the development of French medicine during the 19th century, and the important role that social, cultural, and political environments always play in molding the institutional nature of the medical profession."--Doody's Health Sciences Book Review Journal "A compehensive and scholarly account of the institution's first century...Weisz has refreshingly presented his findings without placing them into ideological frameworks that tend to straitjacket historical events....A readable and informative synthesis of French medicine during a crucial period of its development."--Guenther B. Risse, M.D., Ph.D., UCSF in Journal of the American Medical Association "George Weisz has a firm command of French history during the long aftermath of the French Revolution. His book offers a keen insight into strength and the frailties of the French doctors and their profession and of the bureaucratic and social problems of that era."--The Pavlovian Society "A wonderfully rich depiction of the French Academy of medicine, and a magnificent exploration of the rituals, politics, and scientific enterprises of elite medical culture in the making. Weisz has provided an impressively researched and gracefully written investigation of the function and meaning of an institution that reached virtually every corner of French medical life. This is one of those rare books that should be read by everyone interested in the culture of medical elites in any national context."--John Harley Warner, Yale University "The Medical Mandarins will deservedly become a model for future studies of the rise of medical elites. In it George Weisz has achieved something as original as it is substantial: a detailed elucidation of the transformation of medical power in the age of professionalization."--Prof. Roy Porter, Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, London "Provides intriguing insights into an important era in the scientific and professional growth of medicine....The author writes in a very scholarly fashion, using arguments that are rigorous, thoroughly researched, and well-referenced, yet presented in an accessible and lively style....Will be useful for those interested in learning more about the development of French medicine during the 19th century, and the important role that social, cultural, and political environments always play in molding the institutional nature of the medical profession."--Doody's Health Sciences Book Review Journal "A compehensive and scholarly account of the institution's first century...Weisz has refreshingly presented his findings without placing them into ideological frameworks that tend to straitjacket historical events....A readable and informative synthesis of French medicine during a crucial period of its development."--Guenther B. Risse, M.D., Ph.D., UCSF in Journal of the American Medical Association "George Weisz has a firm command of French history during the long aftermath of the French Revolution. His book offers a keen insight into strength and the frailties of the French doctors and their profession and of the bureaucratic and social problems of that era."--The Pavlovian Society "This is a poineering book that subjects the medical academy to methodologies ranging from the quantitative to the linguistic and symbolic and draws upon insights and data from the historical sociology of elites."--Journal of Modern History "Well written and richly detailed...this is far and away the best study of the Academy of Medicine yet published, and it will be an important and lasting addition to the literature of French medical history."--American Historical Review "Weisz's discursive and thoughtfull exploration makes his book all the more stimulating."--ISIS

PART I: The Academic Institution 1: Creating the French Academy of Medicine 2: The Academy of Medicine and Its Structures 3: Academic Functions and Genres: Communication, Evaluation and Debate 4: Academic Function and Genres: Commissions and Prizes 5: Representation and Memory in the Academy PART II: Academic Perspectives on Clinical Science 6: Water Cures and Science: The Academy of Medicine and Mineral Waters 7: Academic Debate and Therapeutic Reasoning in the Mid-Nineteenth Century 8: The Posthumous Laenned: Creating a Modern Medical Hero PART III: Academic Perspectives on the Parisian Medical Elite 9: The Self-Made Mandarin: The Eulogies of Etienne Pariset, 1823-1847 10: Elite Medical Careers in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries 11: The Medical Elite in French Society

ISBN: 9780195090376
ISBN-10: 0195090373
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 328
Published: 1st February 1995
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.18 x 16.31  x 2.34
Weight (kg): 0.72

Earn 141 Qantas Points
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