, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 391-393
Date: 10 Oct 2012

A prescription for the history of medicine

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This substantial volume has two main aims: to take stock of “where the history of medicine has been and now resides”, and, secondly, to offer “a substantial empirical and theoretical platform for future research” and “a constructive basis” for “more informed discussion of the intellectual place and ideological purpose of medical history” (1). It is divided into three sections: the first chronological, from Classical Antiquity to the present day, the second geographical, including sections on Eastern Europe, Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and Australia and New Zealand, the third, and much the longest, thematic. The last is very much a mixed bag, ranging from birth and death, via the history of science and sexuality, to oral testimony and film.

The overall quality is high, although some contributors, particularly in the first two sections, have been severely constrained by the space available, and anyone interested in the subject will find both new information and new perspectives.