The history of orthodox biomedicine in the twentieth century is usually depicted as one of icreasing reductionism and dependence on laboratory sciences and technology. Holism today is commonly regarded as an alternative to regular healing and a reaction to it. In fact, in the interwar years, clinicians and basic scientists in Europe and North America responded to what they perceived as the increasing reductionism, routinizing and mechanization of the biomedical sciences and clinical practice by creating holistic models of the body's activities and models of healing based the whole, individual sufferer. Holistic responses were also visible in public health and epidemiology. The essays collected here explore this previously neglected area. They show how the holistic turn in orthodox medicine in the interwar years was a reaction to the scietific reductionism and the specialization and division of labor and medicine. In addition, all show how this movement was part of a more general response to modernity itself, political, idealogical and cultural upheaval of the years between the wars.
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Christopher Lawrence is at The Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine. George Weisz is at McGill University.Review:
"A collection of uncommon coherence and importance. To come right to the point, there is every reason to expect this volume to be widely read, widely cited, and powerfully influential in shaping our understanding of biomedicine in the first half of the twentieth century. It is timely, intelligently orchestrated, and draws upon the focused work of more than a dozen scholars to provide a collective depiction of a theme that no single historian is yet in a position to offer. Greater than the Parts: Holism in Biomedicine, 1920-1950 looks absolutely first-rate, and should appeal to an unusually broad array of readers. Certainly it will become indispensable reading for the growing number of scholars who study the history and philosophy of twentieth-century life sciences and medicine."-- Dr. John Harley Warner, Professor of the History of Medicine and Life Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine
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Book Description Oxford University Press, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P11019510904X