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Mavericks, Miracles, and Medicine: The Pioneers Who Risked Their Lives to Bring Medicine into the Modern Age

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Mavericks, Miracles, and Medicine brings to life stories of the pioneering geniuses, eccentrics, and freethinkers who moved beyond the conventions of their day at great personal risk—and often with tragic results—to push forward the boundaries of modern medicine. From Werner Forssmann, who was so confident in his theory that doctors could insert a catheter into humans' hea Mavericks, Miracles, and Medicine brings to life stories of the pioneering geniuses, eccentrics, and freethinkers who moved beyond the conventions of their day at great personal risk—and often with tragic results—to push forward the boundaries of modern medicine. From Werner Forssmann, who was so confident in his theory that doctors could insert a catheter into humans' hearts for diagnostic purposes that he inserted one into his own heart, while watching on a live X ray (and was basically thrown out of the profession, only to be awarded the Nobel Prize just before his death many years later), to Anton Von Leewenhoek, a draper and part-time janitor who discovered the existence of protozoa, bacteria, sperm, and blood cells; from Wilhelm Roentgen, who developed the X-ray machine in his basement with a single cathode ray and some cardboard, to Jean-Baptiste Denis who gave the first-known blood transfusion (with sheep's blood) and was later charged with murder (on manufactured evidence), Mavericks, Miracles, and Medicine is populated with the heretics and visionaries who forever changed medical science. This fully illustrated publication is the companion volume to The History Channel mini-series of the same name.


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Mavericks, Miracles, and Medicine brings to life stories of the pioneering geniuses, eccentrics, and freethinkers who moved beyond the conventions of their day at great personal risk—and often with tragic results—to push forward the boundaries of modern medicine. From Werner Forssmann, who was so confident in his theory that doctors could insert a catheter into humans' hea Mavericks, Miracles, and Medicine brings to life stories of the pioneering geniuses, eccentrics, and freethinkers who moved beyond the conventions of their day at great personal risk—and often with tragic results—to push forward the boundaries of modern medicine. From Werner Forssmann, who was so confident in his theory that doctors could insert a catheter into humans' hearts for diagnostic purposes that he inserted one into his own heart, while watching on a live X ray (and was basically thrown out of the profession, only to be awarded the Nobel Prize just before his death many years later), to Anton Von Leewenhoek, a draper and part-time janitor who discovered the existence of protozoa, bacteria, sperm, and blood cells; from Wilhelm Roentgen, who developed the X-ray machine in his basement with a single cathode ray and some cardboard, to Jean-Baptiste Denis who gave the first-known blood transfusion (with sheep's blood) and was later charged with murder (on manufactured evidence), Mavericks, Miracles, and Medicine is populated with the heretics and visionaries who forever changed medical science. This fully illustrated publication is the companion volume to The History Channel mini-series of the same name.

30 review for Mavericks, Miracles, and Medicine: The Pioneers Who Risked Their Lives to Bring Medicine into the Modern Age

  1. 5 out of 5

    Deborah LaRoche

    I found this book fascinating...I found I could read a chapter here or there when I was stuck in a waiting room or other spot with nothing to do. I will say that I bet the History Channel documentary was probably better than the narrative, only b/c so much of the stories would have made more sense to me (a non-medical-type) with visual aids.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michael Kerwin

    A really interesting read. It's amazing to think how short-lived some of the medical advancements we've come to expect as "everyday" are. Imagine surgery without anaesthetic, a most recent development in the grand scheme of things

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    This one is a 3.5 for me. The subject matter wasn't super interesting to me but the writing was so good that I enjoyed it very much. Plus, I feel so smart when I know science stuff that my husband doesn't.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Peter Wolfley

    The history of medicine is amazing. We owe so much of our comfortable and healthy lives to the men who are chronicled in this book. It was so interesting to read about the struggles and set-backs these great men and women faced before going on to change the course of medical history and treatment.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    The stories and theme are compelling but the writing style was pretty lackluster.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    A book based on a History Channel documentary series about pioneers of medicine. An interesting read, makes me want to see the series, but is a bit dry for my tastes. Not a bad book, though.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    Of course this genre isn't for everyone, but I loved it. Medicine and history are two of my favorite non-fiction topics. This has them both.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Edward Zimmermann

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Ronan

  10. 4 out of 5

    Whitney Huston

  11. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  12. 5 out of 5

    Aimee Jackson

  13. 5 out of 5

    Arcanian

  14. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Gilpin

  15. 4 out of 5

    Angie

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lulieb

  17. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Wyant

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mary Meddahi

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mandi Beam

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christina

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  23. 5 out of 5

    Corinne

  24. 5 out of 5

    Corinne Walton

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michael Pritchett

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  27. 5 out of 5

    Suzan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anthonywilson

  29. 5 out of 5

    Katie Pagan

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

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