Tag Archives: military

New books in the library – war surgery, Spanish flu and more

This week we have some new books in the library and a varity of history of medicine topics:

  • American Pandemic: the lost world of the 1918 influenza epidemic by Nancy K Bristow (OUP, 2012) RA640.I6 BRI 2012

OUP describe the book as a

…much-needed corrective to the silence surrounding the influenza outbreak. It sheds light on the social and cultural history of Americans during the pandemic, uncovering both the causes of the nation’s public amnesia and the depth of the quiet remembering that endured. Focused on the primary players in this drama–patients and their families, friends, and community, public health experts, and health care professionals–historian Nancy K. Bristow draws on multiple perspectives to highlight the complex interplay between social identity, cultural norms, memory, and the epidemic.

If you like this, you might also like to read Phillips and Killingray’s edited volume The Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918-19: news perspectives (RD150.4 SPA 2003)

  • War Surgery 1914-1918 by Thomas Scotland and Steven Hey (eds) (Helion, 2012) RD WAR 2012

History blogger James Daly describes the edited volume enthusiastically:

This is a brilliant book. Considering that the editors and contributors are medical professionals, it reads incredibly well as a history book – much more readable than many a military history text!

As well as a number of detailed tables, the books includes a variety of photos, include some particularly gory ones of post-surgery intestines.

  • For the Health of the Enslaved: slaves, medicine and power in the Danish West Indies, 1803-1848 by Niklas Thode Jensen (Museum Tusculanum Press, 2012) RA456.V57 JEN 2012

Danish publishers Museum Tusculanum Press summarise the text:

Through a series of case studies the author demonstrates how the Danish West Indian government implemented policies of medical control concerning the enslaved, but also that this did not take place without resistance. Opposing perceptions of health and interests of economy and security clashed in the colonial situation. The investigations reveal that in a comparative Caribbean perspective, Danish West Indian health policies were often quite unique and successful, but also that the health of the enslaved was a contested field staging an ongoing power struggle between the planters, the colonial administration and the slaves themselves in the waning years of human bondage in the New World.

The four page table of contents is available to view online – it gives a good overview of the areas covered in the book.

  • Infectious Disease in India, 1892-1940 : policy-making and the perception of risk by Sandhya L. Polu (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) RA643.7.I4 POL 2012

The contents, introduction and index to this book are available to read online for free, via the publisher’s website.  Polu examines various diseases, including malaria, cholera and yellow fever and uses them to

analyze how factors such as health diplomacy, epidemiology, trade, imperial governance, medical technologies, and cultural norms, operated within global and colonial conceptions of risk to shape infectious disease policies in colonial India. (More on Palgrave Macmillan’s site)

Related Links: Recommend a book for the library to purchase | Search SOLO library catalogue | Contact us to make an appointment to visit the library | See all our new books on LibraryThing

Maison Francaise talk on starvation in French asylums on Thursday 31 May

The Maison Française d’Oxford is running the following lecture:

“Starvation in French asylums during the German occupation: Misinterpretations and instrumentalisation since 1945” Thursday 31 May, at 5.00pm, Mordan Hall, St Hugh’s College

Lecture by Isabelle Von Bueltzingsloewen,
Université de Lyon II – A member of LARHRA (Laboratoire de Recherche Historique Rhône-Alpes)

Isabelle von Bueltzingsloewen, Professor of History and Sociology of Health at the University of Lyon 2, is specialised in the history of public health and of contemporary psychiatry. She published L’hécatombe des fous : la famine dans les hôpitaux psychiatriques français sous l’occupation (Aubier, 2007 and Champs Flammarion, 2009). She is currently studying the failure of the renewal movement called « assistance psychiatrique » during the interwar years and the projects of psychiatric reform of the 1945-1960 period.

Chair: Ruth Harris, New College Conveners: Laurent Douzou, IEP Lyon-MFO and Anna-Magdalena Elsner, St Hugh’s College.

ALL WELCOME

Related Links: Maison Francaise d’Oxford

New book in the library on trench diseases

Today we received a new book for the library on trench diseases entitled The Medical Response to the Trench Diseases in World War One by Robert Atenstaedt (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011).

Dr Atenstaedt, a honorary lecturer at the School of Medical Sciences at Bangor University, studies for a PhD at the University of Oxford and wrote his thesis on trench diseases.

The Medical Response to the Trench Diseases in World War One examines how doctors dealt with trench fever, trench foot and trench nephritis.  According to Professor Mark Harrison, Director of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine:

“This book fills a large historiographical gap. Dr Atenstaedt shows why the trench diseases were considered important at the time and provides a lively account of the work done to elucidate them . . . it will become an important source for all those interested in the war on the Western Front.” (further info on CSP’s website)

Another recent piece on trench warfare  has been written by Dr Santanu Das for the World War One Centenary project. This free online post discusses the horrors of mud in the trenches and related references in literature.

Related links: Wellcome Unit Library’s LibraryThing page | Robert Atenstaedt’s profile on Research Gate | SOLO | Slimescapes by Santanu Das

New book in the Wellcome Unit Library

Today we received a new book for the library:

A nurse at the front: the Great War diaries of Sister Edith Appleton
edited by Ruth Cohen (Imperial War Museum, 2012).
Shelfmark: D630.A66 APP 2012

Edith Appleton, or Edie, was a nurse on on the front line during the First World War.  She worked in military hospitals and casualty clearing stations in France and Belgium from 1914-1919 and kept detailed diaries.  Her diaries are presented in this volume along with a foreword from Michael Morpurgo, introduction from editor Ruth Cohen and an appendix by Sue Light on British Military Nurses in the Great War.

Edie recounts details of her personal life and reaction to her experiences along with  details of the casualties, their injuries and the medical staff.   An extract of the book is available to read for free online.  Sue Light’s appedix is available online for free from the Western Front Association.

Accompanying information is available online from http://www.edithappleton.org.uk/.  This includes photographs of the original diaries, an index list of the people mentioned in the diaries and other biographical information about Edith Appleton.

Related Links: Edit Appleton’s homepage | Western Front Association | Sue Light’s Scarlet Finders website (about military nurses) | Wellcome Unit Library homepage | new books at the Wellcome Unit Library

Top 5 websites for the history of medicine – January 2012

Over the past few weeks, staff at the Library have come across a number of interesting online resources – podcasts, articles, websites and blogs that we have added to our Delicious list of links.  All of them are free to access.  If you have any favourite resources then please leave a comment.  Here are our current top 5:

1)      Chirurgeon’s apprentice

This website describes itself as ‘dedicated to a study of early modern chirurgeons, and all the blood and gore that comes with it.’  The site was created by Lindsey Fitzharris, who is currently a Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London.  It contains a series of casebooks covering a variety of topics, such as vivisection, blood letting and the reaction of medical students to dissection.

2)      Waterloo 200

This site has been set up to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, in the run up to its 200th anniversary.   Along, with Q&A and education sections, an area of the site is dedicated to articles about the battle.  An article of particular interest is ‘Surgeon George James Guthrie, Wellington’s combat surgeon’, written by MKH Crumplin (Hon. Curator at the Royal College of Surgeons of England and archivist to the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland).  Crumplin traces the early life and education of Guthrie as a military doctor, his time as a surgeon in military campaigns and his career as a civilian doctor after 1815.  If this article whets your appetite, Crumplin’s book Guthrie’s War: a surgeon of the Peninsula and Waterloo (2010) can be requested from the Bodleian’s book stacks to consult in the Bodleian Libraries Reading Rooms.  His 2005 book A surgical artist at war is also available to consult the Wellcome Unit Library (shelfmark R489.B38 CRU 2005) .

3)      Archives Hub – The Heritage of our Medical Profession

The Archives Hub acts as a gateway that gathers together information about archives held in UK institutions.  The Hub is currently adding information about the archives held by British Royal Medical Colleges.  So far, it has added descriptions for the archives of Royal College of Surgeons of England, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and more are to follow.  Although many of these collections of archives have not been digitised, the Hub descriptions give details about the scope and content of the physical collections held by the institutions.   For instance, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow holds the student notes taken in Dr Robert Watt’s lectures on fevers in 1812.  The Hub also has sections dedicated to Tuberculosis and Charles Darwin.

4)      National Archives Podcast – Anxiety, dread and disease: British ports 1834-1870

Sarah Hutton, a modern domestic records specialist at The National Archives, delves into the archives to investigate the spread of disease in British port towns in the 19th century.  Using examples of cholera outbreaks in the north of England, she explores how reactions to cholera differed when the disease was deemed to have arrived on incoming ships.  This lecture demonstrates the value of the vast collections available at the National Archives.

5)       Pybus Podcasts

This second set of podcasts had been created by the Northern Centre for the History of Medicine, which is a partnership between Durham Univerity and Newscastle University, supported by the Wellcome Trust.  Six podcasts of public seminars have been recorded and are available to listen online or download.  Topics include ‘The Drug Trade in Colonial India by Dr Nandini Bhattacharya (University of Leicester) and ‘Madness and Passions in Early Modern Spain by Dr Elena Carrera (Queen Mary, University of London).