Robert A. Wilson, “The Eugenic Mind Project” (MIT Press, 2017)
For most of us, eugenics — the “science of improving the human stock” — is a thing of the past, commonly associated with Nazi Germany and government efforts to promote a pure Aryan race. This view is incorrect: even in California, for example, sterilization of those deemed mentally defective was... Read More
Dániel Margócsy, et al., “The Fabrica of Andreas Vesalius: A Worldwide Descriptive Census, Ownership, and Annotations of the 1543 and 1555 Editions” (Brill, 2018)
The Fabrica of Andreas Vesalius: A Worldwide Descriptive Census, Ownership, and Annotations of the 1543 and 1555 Editions (Brill, 2018) is a masterful new book that will long be on the shelves of anyone working on the history of anatomy, early modern medicine, and/or the history of the book. This... Read More
Theodore M. Porter, “Genetics in the Madhouse: The Unknown History of Human Heredity” (Princeton UP, 2018)
In Genetics in the Madhouse: The Unknown History of Human Heredity (Princeton University Press, 2018), Theodore Porter uncovers the unfamiliar origins of human genetics in the asylums of Europe and North America. Rather than beginning his story with Gregor Mendel or 1909, the date when Wilhelm Johannsen coined the term “gene,”... Read More
Hervé Guillemain, “Schizophrenics in the Twentieth Century: The Side Effects of History” (Alma, 2018)
Schizophrènes au XXe siècle: des effets secondaires de l’histoire [Schizophrenics in the Twentieth Century: The Side Effects of History] is a strong argument in support of the history of psychiatry “from below.” Using vast archival resources and ample patient files, Hervé Guillemain demonstrates convincingly how schizophrenia in France was a... Read More
Hilary A. Smith, “Forgotten Disease: Illnesses Transformed in Chinese Medicine” (Stanford UP, 2017)
Hilary A. Smith’s new book examines the evolution of a Chinese disease concept, foot qi (jiao qi) from its documented origins in the fourth century to the present day. However, at its heart Forgotten Disease: Illnesses Transformed in Chinese Medicine (Stanford University Press, 2017) isn’t so much about the history... Read More
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