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Book
249 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
In Genius Belabored: Childbed Fever and the Tragic Life of Ignaz Semmelweis, Theodore G. Obenchain traces the life story of a nineteenth-century Hungarian obstetrician who was shunned and marginalized by the medical establishment for advancing a far-sighted but unorthodox solution to the appalling mortality rates that plagued new mothers of the day. In engrossing detail, Obenchain recreates for readers the sights, smells, and activities within a hospital of that day. In an era before the acceptance of modern germ science, physicians saw little need for cleanliness or hygiene. As a consequence, antiseptic measures were lax and rudimentary. Especially vulnerable to contamination were new mothers, who frequently contracted and died from childbed fever (puerperal fever). Genius Belabored follows Semmelweis's awakening to the insight that many of these deaths could be avoided with basic antiseptic measures like hand washing. The medical establishment, intellectually unprepared for Semmelweis's prescient hypothesis, rejected it for a number of reasons. It was unorthodox and went against the lingering Christian tradition that the dangers of childbirth were inherent to the lives of women. Complicating matters, colleagues did not consider Semmelweis an easy physician to work with. His peers described him as strange and eccentric. Obenchain offers an empathetic and insightful argument that Semmelweis suffered from bipolar disorder and illuminates how his colleagues, however dedicated to empirical science they might have been, misjudged Semmelweis's methods based upon ignorance and their emotional discomfort with him. In Genius Belabored, Obenchain identifies Semmelweis's rightful place in the pantheon of scientists and physicians whose discoveries have saved the lives of millions. Obenchain's biography of Semmelweis offers unique insights into the practice of medicine and the mindsets of physicians working in the premodern era. This fascinating study offers much of interest to general readers as well as those interested in germ theory, the history of medicine and obstetrics, or anyone wishing to better understand the trajectory of modern medicine.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780817319298 20170220
SAL1&2 (on-campus shelving)
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533 pages, 3 unnumbered pages ; 21 cm.
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198 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 23 cm.
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224 p. : ill ; 24 cm.
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368 pages ; 21 cm.
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735 p. ; 21 cm.
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158 p. : col. ill. col. map ; 21 cm.
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408 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
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xii, 240 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
In the sixteenth century a new type of practitioner emerges in Europe: the aristocrat who not only supports creative activities, but is personally involved in the projects he finances. The courts of noblemen and other wealthy individuals are transformed into new sites of knowledge production where medicinal waters are distilled, exotic plants cultivated, and alchemical experiments pursued. This new fascination with nature, and the wish to explore and exploit its explicit and hidden mechanisms, was an intellectual trend that spread all over Europe, reaching even the easternmost parts of the Habsburg Monarchy. The Hungarian Count Boldizsar Batthyany (c.1542-1590), a powerful aristocrat and formidable warrior, was also a passionate devotee of natural philosophy. His Western Hungarian court was the focal point of an intellectual network which comprised scholars - such as the renowned botanist Carolus Clusius - physicians, book dealers, and fellow aristocrats from Central Europe and used his connections to exchange objects and information. Batthyany's biography, his extensive correspondence and up-to-date book collection on natural philosophy - especially alchemy, Paracelsian medicine, and botany - reveals that wealth, mobility and intellectual curiosity allowed him to share the enthusiasms of his Western European counterparts, and make the Muses speak even among arms.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9781443806060 20160527
SAL1&2 (on-campus shelving)
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127 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
SAL1&2 (on-campus shelving)

11. Semmelweis [2008]

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109, [3] p. ; 17 cm.
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125 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
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192 p. : ill. ; 27 cm.
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xiii, 956 p. : ill., maps, ports. ; 23 cm.
Follows the trajectory of the Hungarian Revolution, including essays from a range of noted scholars and historians and reactions from leading non-Hungarian intellectuals of the time, such as Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780880335980 20160528
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xii, 366 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
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206 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
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248 p. ; 23 cm.
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317 p.
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466 p., [20] leaves (some folded) : ill. ; 24 cm.
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viii, 607 p. : maps ; 23 cm.
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