Mending Bodies, Saving Souls: A History of Hospitals

Hardcover | February 1, 1999

byGuenter B. Risse

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By chronicling the transformations of hospitals from houses of mercy to tools of confinement, from dwellings of rehabilitation to spaces for clinical teaching and research, from rooms for birthing and dying to institutions of science and technology, this book provides a historical approach tounderstanding of today's hospitals. The story is told in a dozen episodes which illustrate hospitals in particular times and places, covering important themes and developments in the history of medicine and therapeutics, from ancient Greece to the era of AIDS. This book furnishes a unique insightinto the world of meanings and emotions associated with hospital life and patienthood by including narratives by both patients and care givers. By conceiving of hospitals as houses of order capable of taming the chaos associated with suffering, illness, and death, we can better understand thesignificance of their ritualized routines and rules. From their beginnings, hospitals were places of spiritual and physical recovery. They should continue to respond to all human needs. As traditional testimonials to human empathy and benevolence, hospitals must endure as spaces of healing.

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By chronicling the transformations of hospitals from houses of mercy to tools of confinement, from dwellings of rehabilitation to spaces for clinical teaching and research, from rooms for birthing and dying to institutions of science and technology, this book provides a historical approach tounderstanding of today's hospitals. The stor...

Guenter B. Risse is at University of California, San Francisco.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:752 pages, 6.61 × 9.09 × 1.42 inPublished:February 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195055233

ISBN - 13:9780195055238

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Pre-Christian Healing Places2. Early Christian Hospitality: Shelters and Infirmaries3. Church and Laity: Partnership in Hospital Care4. Hospitals as Segregation and Confinement Tools: Leprosy and Plague5. Enlightenment: Medicalization of the Hospital6. Human Bodies Revealed: Hospitals in Post-Revolutionary Paris7. Modern Surgery in Hospitals: Development of Anesthesia and Antisepsis8. The Limits of Medical Science: Hospitals in Fin de Siecle Europe and America9. Main Streets Civic Pride: The American General Hospital as Professional Workshop10. Hospitals at the Crossroads: Government, Society, and Catholicism in America, 1950-197511. Hospitals as Biomedical Showcases: Academic Health Centers and Organ Transplantation12. Caring for the Incurable: AIDS at San Francisco General Hospital13. Conclusion: Towards the Next Millennium: Hospitals as Houses of Technology

Editorial Reviews

"[Risse's] text brings together a treasure trove of fascinating material, skillfuly organized, and frequently poignant in its impace...a brilliant treatment."--Bulletin of the History of Medicine