New Book on Medical History; Society Member Published in Journal of Military History

Today is a “news day” at Of Ships and Surgeons.

Perhaps you’ve already read of the 8 September UK release of The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine; it is scheduled for publication in the US on 1 November. The book’s available now at for $150. (If you purchase using the link, the Society will benefit with a small commission).

Oxford's New History of Medicine

A perusal of the Table of Contents reveals that the Handbook views medical history through three separate historical lenses. First is the traditional “Historical Periods” section, with chapters running from the Graeco-Roman World through the Enlightenment to Contemporary History. A little more modern perspective is reflected in the second section “Places and Traditions”. This looks at health care history from a regional standpoint reaching from China through Eastern Europe including Russia to Sub-Saharan Africa to New Zealand and Australia. Finally, in a thoroughly “new era” historical mode, “Themes and Methods” features chapters on such topics as Political Economy and Health Care, Health and Sexuality, and Medical Film and Television.

Consider this: military / naval medicine does not make the cut, at least with a chapter title to call its own.

As might be expected from an Oxford publication, the Handbook–edited by Professor Mark Jackson, Director of the Centre for Medical History at the UK’s University of Exeter–features authors mostly from UK institutions, though the occasional Canadian, New Zealander and American does appear in the list of contributors. Scholars putatively from Iranian and Indian traditions–faculty at UK institutions–also find their way into the book.

Notable, I think, in this era of globalization, is the absence of contributors from Chinese, Arab, or Spanish/Latin American academia, given that these locales / traditions are represented by chapters in the book.

I’ve not yet seen any reviews, but once published, I’ll try to remember to let you know.


On another note, Professor Harry Langley writes to report that Society member William P McEvoy, a graduate student at the Kansas State University, has an article–Experiences at Sea: A Navy Doctor at War–published in the newest number of the Journal of Military History. That journal has not yet made it to these California shores, but once received, I hope to have Mac’s permission to highlight and possibly excerpt the article in a posting here. Congratulations to William McEvoy!

© 2011 Thomas L Snyder

About thomaslsnyder

Retired urological surgeon and navy reservist. Writing the history of the Navy's first hospital on the U S west coast, at Mare Island, California. Founder and Executive Director, the Society for the History of Navy Medicine. Founder and Coordinator of the Albany Base Hospital No. 33 Society, a military affinity group at Albany Medical College, my alma mater. Past Commander of the San Francisco Commandery of the Naval Order of the United States and founder and past Commander of the Naval Order's "virtual" Continental Commandery. Naval Order Ship's Store manager and Assistant Treasurer General. Member of the Solano County (California) Historical Records Commission.
This entry was posted in Criticism, Reportage. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s