The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching, and the Birth of Modern Surgery

The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching, and the Birth of Modern Surgery

In an era when bloodletting was considered a cure for everything from colds to smallpox, surgeon John Hunter was a medical innovator, an eccentric, and the person to whom anyone who has ever had surgery probably owes his or her life. In this sensational and macabre story, we meet the surgeon who counted not only luminaries Benjamin Franklin, Lord Byron, Adam Smith, and Thomas Gainsborough among his patients but also “resurrection men” among his close acquaintances. A captivating portrait of his ruthless devotion to uncovering the secrets of the human body, and the extraordinary lengths to which he went to do so—including body snatching, performing pioneering medical experiments, and infecting himself with venereal disease—this rich historical narrative at last acknowledges this fascinating man and the debt we owe him today.

Title:The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching, and the Birth of Modern Surgery
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780767916530
Format Type:

    The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching, and the Birth of Modern Surgery Reviews

  • India Clamp

    Year is 1785 and one of the first patients to see Mr. Hunter had a tumor the size of a bowling ball on the side of his head. Fortunately, it was benign. The tumor was so large no other surgeon would o...

  • K.

    Trigger warnings: lots and lots of medical stuff and anatomy and dissection and weird experiments on animals that end in them dying. So this is a biography of John Hunter, eighteenth century surgeon. ...

  • John Blumenthal

    Terrible title that makes it sound like a bio of Jack the Rippers cutlery-obsessed sidekick but an utterly fascinating story about a virtually unknown 18th century surgeon named John Hunter, who was a...

  • Wealhtheow

    John Hunter rose from a poor Scottish farming family to become one of the leading men of science and medicine. His courage (he inserted a knife's point covered in pus into his urethra to see if syphil...

  • ????? ? The Bookish Blonde

    A book that makes you grateful to experience medicine as it is TODAY!3.5 StarsIm a huge fan of medical non-fiction and the history of medicine so naturally I gravitated toward this title. I will say t...

  • Christie

    An excellent combination of a compelling narrative of a most influential scientist with the evolution of the practice of surgery and medical science. Ms. Moore has artfully told the store of John Hunt...

  • Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship

    A very engaging biography of a fascinating figure: despite being largely self-educated, John Hunter was an intellectual giant who pioneered experimental surgery and applied the scientific method to me...

  • Jenny

    Another great nonfiction book, recommended to me by Goodreads. I thoroughly enjoyed the subject matter of the book. John Hunter was a fascinating man with an interesting history and interesting views....

  • Haytham

    Well, I am at least underwhelmed. The life of John Hunter is a really peculiar one. He had changed the concept of surgical management and via his abnormal background and lack of normal medical backgro...

  • Wendy

    If you are at all interested in biology, surgery, the Enlightenment, and aren't particularly squeamish, do yourself a favor and read this one. John Hunter, who plied his surgical trade in what we now ...