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Publisher's Summary

Surgeon Arnold van de Laar uses his own experience and expertise to tell this engrossing history of surgery through 28 famous operations - from Louis XIV and Einstein to JFK and Houdini. 

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, Under the Knife offers a wealth of fascinating and unforgettable insights into medicine and history via the operating room. 

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? 

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

©2018 2018 text copyright Arnold van de Laar; 2018 translation copyright Andy Brown (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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