During the twentieth century, medicine has been radically
transformed and powerfully transformative. In 1900, western
medicine was important to philanthropy and public health, but it
was marginal to the state, the industrial economy and the welfare
of most individuals. It is now central to these aspects of life.
Our prospects seem increasingly dependent on the progress of
bio-medical sciences and genetic technologies which promise to
reshape future generations.The editors of Medicine in the Twentieth
Century have commissioned over forty authoritative essays, written
by historical specialists but intended for general audiences. Some
concentrate on the political economy of medicine and health as it
changed from period to period and varied between countries, others
focus on understandings of the body, and a third set of essays
explores transformations in some of the theatres of medicine and
the changing experiences of different categories of practitioners
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