The Mysteries Within
A Surgeon Reflects on Medical Myths
ISBN10: 0684854864 ISBN13: 9780684854861 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Published: Feb 1 2000 Weight: 1.20lbs. Height: 10.00" Width: 6.75" Depth: 1.25" Language: English
Our understanding of the human body has changed dramatically since the time of Hippocrates and, later, Galen, who dominated medical thinking for more than a millennium. Yet elements of myth and folklore persist to the present day -- every time someone says "Gesundheit", for example -- alongside the latest medical science. Drawing on a lifetime of surgical experience, Dr. Sherwin Nuland shares some memorable operating room stories that illustrate the distinctive "personalities" of five organs: the stomach, liver, spleen, heart, and uterus. He shows how our present knowledge of these organs has emerged from a rich history of imaginative speculation about how the human body works and what role each of these major organs plays. (Our early ancestors believed that our organs were independent creatures inside our bodies, the "animals within".)
The Mysteries Within brilliantly melds myth and science from the dawn of recorded history to the present day. It will fascinate anyone interested in medicine, history, or folklore. Eloquent and insightful, it is a book about human anatomy and, at the same time, an exploration of the human mind and spirit, especially our somewhat contradictory thirst for knowledge about ourselves and our quest for an immortality that transcends the physical body.