Story of Medicine in 50 Discoveries
The 5,000-year-old Iceman discovered frozen in the Alps may have treated his gallstones, Lyme disease, and hardening of the arteries with the 61 tattoos that covered his body?most of which matched acupuncture points, and the walnut-sized pieces of fungus he carried on his belt. The herbal medicines chamomile and yarrow have been found on 50,000-year-old teeth, and neatly bored holes in prehistoric skulls show that Neolithic surgeons relieved pressure on the brain (or attempted to release evil spirits) at least 10,000 years ago. From Mesopotamian pharmaceuticals and Ancient Greek sleep therapy through midwifery, amputation, bloodletting, Renaissance anatomy, bubonic plague, and cholera to the discovery of germs, X-rays, DNA-based treatments and modern prosthetics, the history of medicine is a wild ride through the history of humankind. Color throughout.
In reading thematically linked stories, as well as narrative accounts of people and events, you learn to connect the dots while exploring history. Some stories are well-known while others have slipped under the radar. This is history presented in a unique way that readers will find intriguing and easy to remember. Each story is brief, yet detailed. Even a reluctant reader will enjoy history presented in short episodes. The narrative style is easily digested, and bits are explained here and there as needed. The series feels like something you would have around the home or library for a child to pick up on their own, as a good reader, a supplement perhaps, but not as your primary history text. I especially liked learning about how inventions came about, often a mix of science and serendipity! Speaking of science, you get quite a bit of it with your history as well as geography, world cultures, and more. Loads of color photos and illustrations, a timeline, and resources at the back make this series perfect for spurring further research or for use in your unit study. It is my opinion that students as young as Grade 5 would enjoy this series, as well as middle/high schoolers. I had a chance to look through all 4 topics: hoaxes, disasters, medical discoveries, and travel. They are just fascinating, well beyond trivia. Non-fiction, with a secular or non-religious focus. ~Sara