"Under the Knife: A History of Surgery in 28 Remarkable Operations" by Arnold van de Laar

This was an excellent book, giving a fairly comprehensive overview of the history of surgery through some fascinating (and shocking, and horrifying) surgical cases. These include a story about a man who desperately removed his own bladder stone, Bob Marley’s melanoma (which started as a minor toe problem, until it metastasized to his brain and killed him), JFK’s autopsy,  and a variety of strokes, anal fistulas, castrations, gangrene, and buckets of pus. The book is admittedly graphic, and that’s what makes it interesting. This is medicine and surgery in all its glory, and it’s well-written and riveting.  

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