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Publisher's Summary

Praised for his erudite writing, renowned scientist Frank Gonzalez-Crussi penned this concise history of medicine, beginning with the most primitive health-care practices and ending with the technology of modern medicine that we enjoy today. As with all Modern Library Chronicles, A Short History of Medicine is a wonderful primer for anyone interested in the subject.

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©2007 Frank Gonzalez-Crussi; (P)2007 Recorded Books

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  • Overall

Dull and Disorganized

Gonzalez-Crussi's book (and McDonough's narration) made me want to pour gasoline on my head. It is a boring jumble of historical facts with no apparent organization. It was so bad that I stopped listening to it after about 3 hours. Instead, I urge you to listen to Thomas Hager's very excellent book entitled "The Demon under the Microscope". It is a story of the history of infection and the advent of sulfa drugs as a cure.

14 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Tim
  • Fremont, NE, United States
  • 09-08-12

Very Good Overview - Title is Very Accurate!

Really liked this book, although there are parts that will make you cringe.... I remember eating breakfast in my car while listening and having to set my breakfast sandwich down for a few minutes until the author moved on.

The history of surgery before anesthesia was probably most gruesome (as was the history of Lobotomies....yikes!), however I thought the author did an admirable job of condensing a vast sea of information into a small package. When a book calls itself "A BRIEF History of Medicine", it is my expectation that some things will be minimized or overlooked in the interest of brevity. Realize also, that I am NOT in the field of medicine, so what was new information to me may be common knowledge to others.

All in all, I was pleased with this choice.

While I wouldn't agree fully with some of more negative reviews, I do agree that the flow of the book was not totally linear in its organization. This may be because of so many "overlapping" areas discussed in the book, so I'll give the author the benefit of the doubt on that one.

Recommended for those who want to see the big picture of the development of medicine.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Pam
  • Scottsdale, AZ, USA
  • 04-02-10

Short History of Medicine

This is one of, if not the of the best book, on the history medicine and medical science and practices in existence and the only one I have ever seen that actually documents, that what can and does happen to the human body, and things that can be done or work, has actually been known for centuries, but (intentionally or not) this information has been covered, dismissed or reinvented, by religions, governments, and self serving individuals, as well as the practices, of the middle east and European areas, which have, of course, been foster on the Americas and everywhere such people ruled. As Mr. Gonzalez-Crussi describes, what was known, when and what happened the astute read will understand how, and why what has happened in the past still occur today and for the same ignorant reasons. This should be required reading for anyone who has bind faith in their medical provider, government and/or religion. The one drawback is that it is not written at the usual 6th grade level so those who do not have a good vocabulary or do not know common medical terms may become lost or board do to lack of comprehension. The world would be well served for this book to be rewritten at the level of a 6th grader, the level far too many people never get passed.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful