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Publisher's Summary

The history of surgery in 28 famous operations - from Louis XIV to JFK, and from Einstein to Houdini.

In Under the Knife, surgeon Arnold Van de Laar uses his own experience and expertise to tell the witty history of the past, present and future of surgery. From the story of the desperate man from 17th-century Amsterdam who grimly cut a stone out of his own bladder to Bob Marley's deadly toe infection, Under the Knife offers all kinds of fascinating and unforgettable insights into medicine and history via the operating theatre.

What happens during an operation? How does the human body respond to being attacked by a knife, a bacterium, a cancer cell or a bullet? And, as medical advances continuously push the boundaries of what medicine can cure, what are the limits of surgery?

From the dark centuries of bloodletting and of amputations without anaesthetic to today's sterile, high-tech operating theatres, Under the Knife is both a rich cultural history and a modern anatomy class for us all.

©2018 Arnold van de Laar (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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  • Overall
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  • Lynette Crisp
  • 04-12-18

Amazing stories

I was enthralled and amazed by the stories. this could have been a bore but was delivered in such a way to keep the listener wanting to know more. Great book.

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  • Chris
  • 01-23-18

An eyeopener to surgical progress

A riveting meander through surgical history with the most lucid and entertaining tales of the horrors and immense progress that has been made. It makes you so glad to be living nowadays. Excellent narration.

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  • K A Sandford-Clisby
  • 03-02-18

Fascinating!

An enthralling look at the history of surgery. The patients involved ranged from peasants to royalty. The chapter on JFK was fascinating. Highly recommended for anyone interested in medicine or history.