Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Category: 610s

618: Lamaze by Paula Michaels

DDC_618

618.4509: Michaels, Paula A. Lamaze: An International History. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2014. 138 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-973864-9.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 600: Technology
  • 610: Medicine and health
  • 618: Gynecology, obstetrics, pediatrics, and geriatrics
  • 618.4: Childbirth
  • 618.45: Natural childbirth
  • +09: History

In the early twentieth century, women faced one of two certainties when giving birth: either be awake during the labor and experience all the pain that comes with it or be placed under general anesthesia and have the baby delivered with forceps. Neither one of these scenarios were particularly enjoyable. And on top of all that, doctors and fathers were more likely to make the decisions before the mother would. But around the 1940s, the two interests of hypnosis and natural living combined to form a new practice in medicine. Paula Michaels’s Lamaze looks into the interesting amalgamation that became psychoprophylaxis, more commonly known as the Lamaze Method.

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611: Stiff by Mary Roach

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611: Roach, Mary. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. New York: Viking, 2003. 292 pp. ISBN 0-670-91217-4.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 600: Technology
  • 610: Medicine
  • 611: Human anatomy, cytology, and histology

One of the most common question children (and even adults) ask is: what happens to us after we die? While many are looking for more spiritual and existential answer, Mary Roach decided to look at the question from a pure biological and materialistic standpoint. What happens to a human body after the functioning has ceased? In Stiff, she explores all the venues where human cadavers make an appearance. From embalmers to medical schools to mechanical researchers to even biological composters, Roach goes off in search of answers to very real and pressing questions. Is there space for all our dead bodies? What and how can we learn from dead bodies?

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610: One Doctor by Brendan Reilly

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610.695: Reilly, Brendan. One Doctor: Close Calls, Cold Cases, and the Mysteries of Medicine. New York: Atria Books, 2013. 369 pp. ISBN 978-1-4767-2629-8.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 600: Technology
  • 610: Medicine
  • 610.6: Organizations, management, group practice, medical personnel and relationships
  • 610.69: Medical personnel and relationships
  • 610.695: Physicians

Medicine is simultaneously one of the most rewarding and heart-breaking fields to work in. Every day, millions of physicians are tasked with managing the livelihoods of countless injured or sick patients. They can have an infinite number of backgrounds and come in with a dizzying array of issues. In relatively little time, they have to assess their patient, diagnose them, and pursue a course of treatment that takes many factors into account. I do not envy them one bit, but neither do I bemoan their profession or their pay. Brendan Reilly’s One Doctor gives us a peek into a two-week window of the life of a primary care physician and his team at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

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617: The Knife Man by Wendy Moore

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617.092: Moore, Wendy. The Knife Man: Blood, Body-Snatching and the Birth of Modern Surgery. London: Bantam, 2006. 535 pp. ISBN 0-5538-1618-7.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 600: Technology
  • 610: Medicine
  • 617: Miscellaneous branches of medicine and surgery
  • +092: Biography

In the middle of the 18th century, surgery was still a gruesome practice. Bloodletting and induced vomiting were standard procedures for all manners of ailments. But, like in all the sciences, one practitioner decided to upend convention and actually study the field from the ground up, asking basic questions and looking for observable phenomena. Wendy Moore’s The Knife Man chronicles the life of John Hunter, a doctor from rural Scotland who would almost single-handedly set right the world of surgery and change medicine for the better.

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613: Wilderness Secrets Revealed by Andre-Francois Bourbeau

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613.69092: Bourbeau, Andre-Francois. Wilderness Secrets Revealed: Adventures of a Survivor. Toronto: Dundurn, 2013. 260 pp. ISBN 978-1-4597-0696-5.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 600: Technology
  • 610: Medicine and health
  • 613: Personal health and safety
  • 613.6: Personal safety and special topics of health
  • 613.69: Survival
  • +092: Biography

Andre-Francois Bourbeau is a survivor. He survived being airdropped into a Canadian forest for a month with nothing but what a random tourist was carrying around. He survived lighting his mother’s carpet after making his first friction fire (indoors). He survived leading sixteen kids on a camping trip and “accidentally” forgetting the eating utensils and flashlights. He survived being left alone in the woods with absolutely nothing but a bathing suit. In Wilderness Secrets Revealed, Bourbeau lets us in some of the survival tips and tricks he has discovered while out in nature.

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615: Charlatan by Pope Brock

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615.856: Brock, Pope. Charlatan: America’s Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam. New York: Crown, 2008. 281 pp. ISBN 978-0-307-33988-1.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 600: Technology
  • 610: Medicine and health
  • 615: Pharmacology and therapeutics
  • 615.8: Specific therapies and kinds of therapies
  • 615.85: Miscellaneous therapies
  • 615.856: Controversial and spurious therapies; quackery

First off, having the flu is a great way to work through a bunch of books quickly. When unencumbered by the need to go to work, the pleasure of reading is greatly magnified. Now, if I could find a way to get paid for this. Secondly, I absolutely love the fact that the Dewey Decimal system has a special number for quackery (also, it has to be said, quackery is one of my favorite sounding words).

Now, on to today’s book. From one con man to another—my week seems to be full of these. J.R. Brinkley (1885-1942) was a man always angling for a quick buck. But, more than that, he just wanted to be loved by everyone. He started out as a two-bit showman in a snake oil shop, but soon found out that having a medical degree was the way to really pull in the masses. After acquiring (read “buying”) a degree from a shoddy operation, he was licensed in eight states and began a quest to dupe  hundreds of folks with “cures” from exotic places at his hospital in Milford, Kansas.

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614: The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson

614.514: Johnson, Steven. The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World. New York: Riverhead, 2006. 256 pp. ISBN 978-1-59448-269-4.

Dewey Construction:

  • 600: Technology
  • 610: Medicine
  • 614: Forensic medicine
  • 614.5: Incidents of and public measures to prevent specific diseases
  • 614.514: Cholera

On August 28, 1854, a young girl in the Lewis family on Broad Street fell ill. Her small body quickly deteriorated from the loss of liquids and soon thereafter, she died. Her family tossed her waste and cleaned her diapers in a nearby water pump. Over the next days, weeks, and months, trillions of cholera bacteria multiplied, infected the water, and from there, calamity erupted. It took a doctor from York and a Soho curate to solve the case. But not before 600 people died of a ghastly disease.

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