Read S. Weir Mitchell, 1829-1914: Philadelphia's Literary Physician by Nancy Cervetti Online

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This modern biography provides a comprehensive and balanced view of a legendary figure in American medicine. Controversial because of his fierce fight against women's rights, S. Weir Mitchell achieved stunning success through his experimentation with venomous snakes, treatment of Civil War soldiers with phantom limbs and burning pain, and creation of the rest cure to treatThis modern biography provides a comprehensive and balanced view of a legendary figure in American medicine. Controversial because of his fierce fight against women's rights, S. Weir Mitchell achieved stunning success through his experimentation with venomous snakes, treatment of Civil War soldiers with phantom limbs and burning pain, and creation of the rest cure to treat hysteria and neurasthenia. Mitchell's life was extraordinary--interesting in its own right and as a case study in the larger inquiry into nineteenth-century medicine and culture....

Title : S. Weir Mitchell, 1829-1914: Philadelphia's Literary Physician
Author :
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ISBN : 9780271054032
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 295 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

S. Weir Mitchell, 1829-1914: Philadelphia's Literary Physician Reviews

  • Elizabeth
    2019-03-19 23:47

    Outstanding biography of Mitchell: current, well-researched, and confronts his controversial aspects (rampant misogyny) head on while still giving him due respect for his ground-breaking work in neurology and psychiatry. A fascinating life, well told here.

  • Ashley
    2019-03-17 06:47

    Cervetti's biography of physician, outdoorsman, and poet S. Weir Mitchell covers a vast amount of material in a single slim but informative volume. She provides brief background information about Mitchell's family before pivoting to an in-depth discussion of Mitchell's position in mid-19th century medicine in general. Although S. Weir Mitchell never held a long-term university appointment, his influence on medicine and learned thought was substantial. Best known for his widely criticized "rest cure," Mitchell also advanced the study of snake venom, general physiology, hysteria, a wide variety of nerve injuries (including "phantom limb"), and medical education. Although it is clear that Cervetti shares feminist criticism of Mitchell (he was profoundly opposed to women in anything but nurturing roles), she does not let these later criticisms shade her telling of his life. In fact, she is critical of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's account of the rest cure in "The Yellow Wallpaper" and the extent to which later feminists and critics have accepted that account as accurate.The book is at its strongest when Cervetti turns her attention to Mitchell's writing, perhaps unsurprising given her background in literature. The author does a nice job explaining how Mitchell moved between these two worlds and how his literary aspirations influenced his approach to science. This book is an excellent overview of S. Weir Mitchell's life and era. The writing is a bit academic and not for the general reader. However, anyone with an interest in 19th century medicine, feminist criticism of "hysteria," or Mitchell's writing will find this a useful, approachable volume.