The Medical Book: From Witch Doctors to Robot Surgeons, 250 Milestones in the History of Medicine

. September 2012. 528p. 978-1-40278-585-6. 29.95.
In this collection of one-page essays on medical advancements with facing illustrations, Pickover (The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics) touches on familiar subjects (allergies) and more esoteric ones (the ancient Chinese medical text Huangdi Neijing) and covers a variety of fields including medical art, techniques, devices old and new, drugs, surgery, and causes of disease. While the book has a roughly chronological arrangement, Pickover makes it clear that he is presenting not a comprehensive history but a selection of milestones, people, and developments that he finds interesting. Most essays include references for further reading.
VERDICT The writing is lively and the topics are varied and need not be read in any particular order. Pickover intends only to give a brief glimpse of each subject and writes for a wide audience ranging from students to professionals. He achieves his goals, and his brevity and breezy style should appeal to readers used to accessing information quickly on the Internet but who are still interested in picking up a book.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing