Skip to main content
Palgrave Macmillan

Animals and the Shaping of Modern Medicine

One Health and its Histories

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2018

You have full access to this open access Book


  • Funded by the Wellcome Trust, this book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license
  • Opens up a new perspective on the history of modern medicine in which animals and their diseases take centre stage
  • Explores the complex combined history of medicine and veterinary medicine
  • Includes supplementary material:

Part of the book series: Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Modern History (MBSMH)

Buy print copy

Softcover Book USD 23.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book USD 31.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

About this book

This book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license.

This book breaks new ground by situating animals and their diseases at the very heart of modern medicine. In demonstrating their historical significance as subjects and shapers of medicine, it offers important insights into past animal lives, and reveals that what we think of as ‘human’ medicine was in fact deeply zoological.

Each chapter analyses an important episode in which animals changed and were changed by medicine. Ranging across the animal inhabitants of Britain’s zoos, sick sheep on Scottish farms, unproductive livestock in developing countries, and the tapeworms of California and Beirut, they illuminate the multi-species dimensions of modern medicine and its rich historical connections with biology, zoology, agriculture and veterinary medicine. The modern movement for One Health – whose history is also analyzed – is therefore revealed as just the latest attempt to improve health by working across species and disciplines.

This book will appeal to historians of animals, science and medicine, to those involved in the promotion and practice of One Health today.

Similar content being viewed by others


Table of contents (7 chapters)


“Both historians of medicine and advocates of One Health will benefit from its careful reconstructions of the intertwined histories of human and animal health and its incisive critiques of the conceptual and institutional borders that continue to separate them.” (Etienne S. Benson, Isis, Vol. 111 (2), 2020)

“This is a methodologically well-grounded book, full of documentation, on one of the major shifts in animal health history through the centuries. It illustrates a rarely explored aspect of current globalization that goes beyond internationalization, and illustrates the concept of ‘globality’ in the life sciences with the logical consequence of medicine being fundamentally as unitary as life. … a descriptive book that explores the development of a current phenomenon in society.” (Alain Touwaide, Doody's Book Reviews, November, 2018)

“Animals and the Making of Modern Medicine demonstrates the distance that can be traveled, and the depth of connections that can be revealed, when we break through disciplinary boundaries and challenge the norms that define – and limit – our scholarly pursuits.” (Georgina M. Montgomery, Journal of the History of Biology, Vol. 51, 2018)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of History, Kings College London, London, United Kingdom

    Abigail Woods

  • Department of History, Swansea University, Swansea, United Kingdom

    Michael Bresalier

  • Department of Politics, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom

    Angela Cassidy

  • University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA

    Rachel Mason Dentinger

About the authors

Abigail Woods is Professor of the History of Human and Animal Health and Head of the Department of History at King’s College London, UK.

Michael Bresalier is Lecturer in the History of Medicine at Swansea University, UK.

Angela Cassidy is a Lecturer in the Politics department, University of Exeter, UK.

Rachel Mason Dentinger is a Scholar-In-Residence and Associate Instructor at the University of Utah, USA.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Animals and the Shaping of Modern Medicine

  • Book Subtitle: One Health and its Histories

  • Authors: Abigail Woods, Michael Bresalier, Angela Cassidy, Rachel Mason Dentinger

  • Series Title: Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Modern History

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: History, History (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-319-64336-6Published: 18 January 2018

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-319-74118-5Published: 08 March 2018

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-64337-3Published: 29 December 2017

  • Series ISSN: 2947-9142

  • Series E-ISSN: 2947-9150

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVII, 280

  • Number of Illustrations: 5 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: History of Science, History of Medicine, Modern History, Animal Welfare/Animal Ethics, Social History

Publish with us