The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine

The Butchering Art Joseph Lister s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine In The Butchering Art the historian Lindsey Fitzharris reveals the shocking world of nineteenth century surgery on the eve of profound transformation She conjures up early operating theaters no place

  • Title: The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine
  • Author: Lindsey Fitzharris
  • ISBN: 9780374117290
  • Page: 199
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In The Butchering Art, the historian Lindsey Fitzharris reveals the shocking world of nineteenth century surgery on the eve of profound transformation She conjures up early operating theaters no place for the squeamish and surgeons, working before anesthesia, who were lauded for their speed and brute strength These medical pioneers knew that the aftermath of surgery waIn The Butchering Art, the historian Lindsey Fitzharris reveals the shocking world of nineteenth century surgery on the eve of profound transformation She conjures up early operating theaters no place for the squeamish and surgeons, working before anesthesia, who were lauded for their speed and brute strength These medical pioneers knew that the aftermath of surgery was often dangerous than their patients afflictions, and they were baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high At a time when surgery couldn t have been hazardous, an unlikely figure stepped forward a young, melancholy Quaker surgeon named Joseph Lister, who would solve the deadly riddle and change the course of history.Fitzharris dramatically recounts Lister s discoveries in gripping detail, culminating in his audacious claim that germs were the source of all infection and could be countered by antiseptics Focusing on the tumultuous period from 1850 to 1875, she introduces us to Lister and his contemporaries some of them brilliant, some outright criminal and takes us through the grimy medical schools and dreary hospitals where they learned their art, the deadhouses where they studied anatomy, and the graveyards they occasionally ransacked for cadavers.Eerie and illuminating, The Butchering Art celebrates the triumph of a visionary surgeon whose quest to unite science and medicine delivered us into the modern world.

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    1. The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine by Lindsey Fitzharris is a 2017 Scientific American/Farrar Straus and Giroux publication. Ghastly, but fascinating! This is the true story of Joseph Lister, the surgeon, who in 1846 rendered surgery pain free by using ether. But, once surgery became more frequent, deaths occurred due to sepsis, and a myriad of other infections, prompting Lister to examine the prospect that germs, dirty surgical tools, a [...]

    2. Dr. Joseph Lister became a surgeon in a time in which Germ Theory was considered "Fake News". 19th Century surgery was crude, bloody, painful, and almost always fatal. 19th Century surgery was barbaric. Hospitals were commonly known as death houses and something to be avoided if you had any money. Surgeons didn't wash their hands, tools, clothing, or hospital beds. It was quite common for a surgeon to conduct an autopsy and without washing anything use those same tools to operate on living patie [...]

    3. My hardback copy is here! I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of this through NetGalley, and seriously, the second I finished it, I went and preordered it. This is one of the best and my favorite books of the year!Even though I just read this, I'm already rereading this. In short, This book really delves into the Victorian surgery practices and thanks to Joseph Lister, for forever changing what we know about surgery today. Seriously highlighted and now tabbing seems like half of the book. S [...]

    4. When is it a better time to read a gruesome history of medicine than right before Halloween??? Fitzharris spares no details documenting Joseph Lister and his campaign to teach the medical profession that germs really existed. (Before Lister, doctors didn’t wash their hands or their medical instruments all that often. Blergh.) It’s also an illuminating look at a profession one looked upon with skepticism, a profession that often relied on graveyards to supply their knowledge…Backlist bump: [...]

    5. A brother of mine had an advance copy of The Butchering Art and was going to send it to my daughter - his goddaughter - as she has a taste for the gory, and has expressed an interest in studying medicine. "Not so fast," I said, "I think I'll have that." So he sent it to me.Is there a word that is the opposite of genocide? That's what Lister did. The Butchering Art is the story of how one man - who stood on the shoulders of giants - transformed medical operations from something of enormous risk i [...]

    6. The 19th century was a pretty gross time to be alive. To begin with, nobody knew about germs. Just imagine it, all those bare pimply Victorian era bottoms sitting on public lavatory seats without laying down a thick protective covering of toilet paper first. Ick. The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris digs into this time period like a 19th century leech collector would dig through the fecal sewage overflowing the Thames river seeking new merchandise to sell. Fitzharris’s nonfictional account [...]

    7. My original The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.Whether or not you immediately recognize the name, Joseph Lister’s scientific crusade as a surgeon against infectious diseases has made him, quite literally, a household name. You may even have at least one of the antiseptic remedies his work helped to popularize in your bathroom medicine cabinet, in the form of Listerine [...]

    8. I'm starting to love reading about medical history, and it's mostly because of books like this. The Butchering Art is the incredible tale of Joseph Lister, a man who we hear so little about, but who we owe so much to. Lindsey Fitzharris is a terrific writer, every moment feels like a scene in a harrowing and horrific movie. She doesn't shy away from the gruesome details about surgery in the Victorian era, and I ended up having to put the book down multiple times. Despite that, there were some re [...]

    9. Medical history can be fascinating, especially when we realize how far we have come and so quickly. This book makes all too clear the threat to health of the nineteenth century when surgeons had no idea that germs caused infections and that simple sanitation could save lives. Detailed and interesting

    10. Ever since I became sister to a Doctor Dion, I’ve definitely become infinitely more interested in medicine, particularly so in the history of, especially so in the Victorian era of. The Butchering Art is the 1970s Wes Craven of medical histories, tracing the trajectory of a time before anyone knew anything of germs and bacteria, when most surgeries resulted in amputations due to incorrigible infections.It has it all: maggots spewing within abscesses, surgeons chopping limbs off with blood- and [...]

    11. A comprehensive study of an incredible man. We owe Dr. Lister so much for his contribution to the practice of hygiene in medicine. As hard as it may be to believe, there was a time when washing hands before medical procedures was considered ridiculous. Lindsey Fitzharris does a remarkable job of explaining just how ingrained that thinking was and how hard Dr. Lister fought to change the thinking at that time. While reading this book I was consistently reminded that medicine has more misses than [...]

    12. As a nurse, this book held a special place in my heart . Lindsey Fitzharris wrote so eloquently, and researched so thoroughly, i felt as if I was literally seeing the world through Lister’s eyes. Joseph Lister was such an amazing man, who not only wanted to further science and medicine, but desperately sought to better this world. I only wish that every surgeon and healthcare worker had the care and compassion this man did! This was an amazing read, and i recommend to everyone. I promise you w [...]

    13. Super fascinating, if a bit dry. I would check the sample chapter first before trying the book. If the writing style isn’t your thing I’d back away. I didn’t mind and found the story very compelling.

    14. Very fascinating! It's the storied tale of a smart man trying to convince stupid men who think they're smart men that what they're doing is in fact wrong. This is something we women knew about but men just blew off. Think of how many lives could've been saved? Bleh. Human history in a nutshell.

    15. I loved this book. It was part history, part medical history, and part biography. The book follows the path of Dr Lister who pioneered the stop of spreading germs during surgery. It delves into how surgeries were performed in hospitals and at home, how high the fatality rate was when surgery was performed, and the general conditions of European hospitals in the 1800's. The author was detailed, dramatic, and I felt that the book was well researched. BRILLIANT Book for anyone curious about medical [...]

    16. How can I do anything else but give this five stars? I love these books, terribly written or amazingly well written. I am but a moth to their flame. (But also, this is well-written, enjoyable, and gives a breadth of the history of surgery and aftercare treatments.)

    17. Wonderful book about the rise of the antiseptic theory in surgery. Lead by Dr. Lister, the idea that germs and puss were related in the bringing about death in patients changed the medical world forever. The author does a great job of piecing historic moments in medical history and creating images of horror that were British hospitals before the introduction of clean environments. Fascinating read.Review written by Leti, Librarian, Adult DepartmentFind it in our catalog here.

    18. Extremely readable history of Joseph Lister's career and his successful attempt to transform Victorian medicine into something that could actually cure a patient, not kill them. If you are squeamish, don't read this book while eating :-)

    19. Speed and spectacle typified British surgery in the first half of the 19th century. The operating theater no doubt got its name from the audience it drew from curious laypeople right off the streets although naturally the first rows and floor area were crowded with medical students. A surgeon might not be able to operate until he had enough space. Frustrated audience in the back rows yelled, “Heads, heads!” when people in front obscured their view.We forget the major impacts that our underst [...]

    20. Here is my favourite passage from the book, and a good intro to the tone of Fitzharris' writing - on Liston, a surgeon who practiced a time before anesthesia when speed was the most valuable asset one could have when performing surgery:"Liston's speed was both a gift and a curse. Once, he accidentally sliced off a patient's testicle along with the leg he was amputating. His most famous (and possibly apocryphal) mishap involved an operation during which he worked so rapidly that he took off three [...]

    21. I like science books and I like medical books, but at times, they can be a slog. Not this one though! I think Ms. Fitzharris's book is the most readable science/medical book I've ever read. I breezed through it.In grade school we all spent about one day learning about germ theory and, as kids, we dismiss it as it's crazy to think that people didn't understand that germs caused illnesses. And then in high school we get one paragraph in history class about how President Garfield died not from bein [...]

    22. I’m afraid that my wife and I are the only people that ever watched The Knick, which is a real shame. It was an excellent show, a Steven Soderbergh project in which Clive Owen played a drug-addicted genius surgeon at New York’s Knickerbocker Hospital circa 1900. The Knick only ran for two seasons (2014-2015). Thankfully, however, the storyline resolved itself nicely at the end of the second, so that you need not feel let down too much by the fact that season three never happened.There’s a [...]

    23. Absolutely fascinating look into the Victorian age of medicine & science. It’s hard to believe when we live in a world where people carry bottles of Purel everywhere that in the mid to late 1800's doctors were performing surgeries with no proper hygiene. Aprons crusted with blood, pus & other fluids, instruments never cleaned between surgeries, doctors never washing their hands. Be warned, the author doesn’t mince words in her descriptions so if blood & gore gross you out, skip t [...]

    24. A well-told story about Joseph Lister and his impact on surgery in the Victorian era. Once the medical community (reluctantly) admitted the benefits of anesthesia, surgeons were able to operate in a less slapdash fashion, but patients were still at significant risk of mortality from postoperative infections, or “hospitalism.” Lister was an early proponent of the germ theory, and his ideas of antisepsis eventually revolutionized surgery. The author colorfully describes the relative barbarity [...]

    25. One of those very readable tellings of a scientific story that avoids excessive technicalities without dumbing down. It highlights the reality that even in the case of an epoch-making contribution such as that of Joseph Lister, research doesn't really move in giant leaps until perhaps it is viewed with the benefits of hindsight. As with most medical progress, Lister drew on several complementary methodologies such as clinical data, clinical trial and animal research. His ultimate success require [...]

    26. The Butchering Art is one of my favourite non fiction reads this year - I couldn’t put it down! Lindsey Fitzharris recounts the fascinating story of Joseph Lister, and his quest to improve the chances of patients undergoing surgery in 19th century Britain who, more often than not, died of post-operative infection. Full of quirky facts, wry observations and gruesome details, this is a gripping book.Meticulously researched and brilliantly written, Lindsey recreates the horrors of early Victorian [...]

    27. The art of surgery during the 19th century was not for the faint-hearted. In the absence of anesthesia a skilled surgeon had to be quick to minimize the patient's agony. No one knew why most surgery victims died. Their wounds became suppurated, or a host of secondary infections set in. Joseph Lister, a modest, Quaker medical student from England, had a persistant intellectual curiosity about the cause of post surgical mortality. After years of microscopic study he introduced "germ" theory to a s [...]

    28. This was an awesome book to listen to, although it did get almost too gory for me in descriptive language in a few places. It was fascinating to learn about the state of Victorian medicine and surgery. Surgeons at that time were prized for their speed, and an exceptional surgeon could amputate a leg, tie off a blood vessel, and make a skin flap to cover the stump in under 90 seconds- necessary in a time before anesthesia. This was quite a readable book, and I was always eager to get back into it [...]

    29. Fascinating, if slightly gruesome. Lister was an amazing man, and his life is a reminder of how much difference one person can make. It's also amusing to think about surgeons in the 1870s who did not "believe" in germs, and makes me wonder what people will laugh at about us, 150 years from now, assuming there is anyone left to laugh.

    30. This is a fascinating book about medical/surgical procedures during the Victorian age. Joseph Lister truly changed the world of surgery with his aseptic techniques. Knowing what it is like in the OR today makes the horrors of this book unreal. A huge recommendation for anyone in the medical field or with an interest in medicine.

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