History of Man Series

2 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 ratings

The First History of Man Publisher's Summary

Medicine isn’t just about being ill, popping a few pills, or the careful cut of the surgeon’s hand. If medicine is anything, it is about human history. As far back as you can go in recorded time, human disease has been there along for the ride. In The First History of Man John Bershof entreats us to common ailments in an inviting language, using wit and humor, fleeced of the normal jargon that seems to accompany such tales of health. But that is just the beginning, the underlying frame of The First History of Man. Dr. Bershof, as he takes us on a journey disease by disease, uses illness as jumping off stations into human history, seamlessly weaving into the fabric of the storyline the world we live in. In the blink of an eye you’ll travel from the vastness of the cosmos to the interior of an atom, from the Bible to plagues of biblical proportion, from the beginning of time to the unforgiving time of dogma, collecting every darling as we travel along, cherishing all those human history darlings, a history that is eternal in all of us. With another twist to the narrative, an overarching third layer introduces several personal medical challenges Dr. Bershof has faced as a physician, giving us an insight into how the physician mind works.

Lewis Carroll’s rather famous Alice in Wonderland (1865) includes this demand of the White Rabbit, when he is called to the witness stand to report on what he knows about who stole the Queen of Hearts’ tarts: “Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop”. Perhaps this is good advice for the White Rabbit and the mystery of the missing tarts, but the thing with medicine and human history is this: It’s not really just one simple frame but rather a huge expanse of interlocking frames, all of which have their own innumerable jumping-off points - and so first beginning at the beginning and then going on until the end is far too much to ask of a single audiobook. Such a pursuit needs to be broken down into volumes.

©2020 John Fox Bershof (P)2021 John Fox Bershof
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