Disease and Medicine in World History is a concise introduction to diverse ideas about diseases and their treatment throughout the world. Drawing on case studies from ancient Egypt to present-day America, Asia and Europe, this survey discusses concepts of sickness and forms of treatment in many cultures.
Sheldon Watts shows that many medical practices in the past were shaped as much by philosophers and metaphysicians as by university-trained doctors and other practitioners.
Subjects covered include:
- Pharaonic Egypt and the pre-conquest New World
- the evolution of medical systems in the Middle East
- health and healing on the Indian subcontinent
- medicine and disease in China
- the globalization of disease in the modern world
- the birth and evolution of modern scientific medicine.
This volume is a landmark contribution to the field of world history. It covers the principal medical systems known in the world, based on extensive original research. Watts raises questions about globalization in medicine and the potential impact of infectious diseases in the present day.
Sheldon Watts is a visiting professor of history at the American University in Cairo. He is the author of Epidemics and History: Disease, Power and Imperialism (Yale, 1997).
"Sheldon Watts has established a reputation as one of the world's premier scholars on global disease and medicine. Disease and Medicine in World History offers an insightful and provocative analysis of medical thought and practice situated securely in their social and cultural contexts." - Jerry H. Bentley, University of Hawaii