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The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers
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The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers [Format Kindle]

Joanna Bourke

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

Everyone knows what is feels like to be in pain. Scraped knees, toothaches, migraines, giving birth, cancer, heart attacks, and heartaches: pain permeates our entire lives. We also witness other people - loved ones - suffering, and we 'feel with' them.

It is easy to assume this is the end of the story: 'pain-is-pain-is-pain', and that is all there is to say. But it is not. In fact, the way in which people respond to what they describe as 'painful' has changed considerably over time. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, for example, people believed that pain served a specific (and positive) function - it was a message from God or Nature; it would perfect the spirit. 'Suffer in this life and you wouldn't suffer in the
next one'. Submission to pain was required. Nothing could be more removed from twentieth and twenty-first century understandings, where pain is regarded as an unremitting evil to be 'fought'.

Focusing on the English-speaking world, this book tells the story of pain since the eighteenth century, addressing fundamental questions about the experience and nature of suffering over the last three centuries. How have those in pain interpreted their suffering - and how have these interpretations changed over time? How have people learnt to conduct themselves when suffering? How do friends and family react? And what about medical professionals: should they immerse themselves in the suffering
person or is the best response a kind of professional detachment?

As Joanna Bourke shows in this fascinating investigation, people have come up with many different answers to these questions over time. And a history of pain can tell us a great deal about how we might respond to our own suffering in the present - and, just as importantly, to the suffering of those around us.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 7850 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 336 pages
  • Editeur : OUP Oxford; Édition : 1 (5 mai 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00K4VCCR4
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A VITAL GUIDEBOOK 15 août 2014
Par Kenneth E. MacWilliams - Publié sur
Joanna the real deal.

She is a very serious, highly respected, enormously talented British historian and academic at the University of London.

How good?

Well, most recently, less than one month ago, the British Academy elected her to be a Fellow.

This month the Oxford University Press has just published her newest book, which you are considering buying.

I hope you do. You will not be disappointed on any level.

And just to name one -- unless you are planning on dying in the manner and circumstances that happened to Adlai Stevenson, or instantaneously in some accident, most of us are going to travel a final road paved with considerable and increasing pain at the end of our lives.

It might behoove us to know a little more about this pain in advance, the better to deal with it, hopefully.

Professor Bourke's new book will help you with that, enormously. Especially since we all live in two worlds as Susan Sontag once wrote: "Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick."

I'm fortunate to have lived to be 77 (78 in a week). Most of my friends are of my general age. So I purchased a few copies since I know for certain that I will have keenly interested readers. But even if I were still 35 I would do the same. Pain knows no generational barriers, as Professor Bourke's brilliant comments about children make chillingly clear.

And if you are still on the fence about whether to buy this book, simply read the review of it in the August 21, 2014 issue of The London Review of Books.

Having been this highly positive in my recommendation to you of this book, I should also make clear that I do not know the author, have never met her (I wish I had), and that in no way am I connected with her, her book, her publisher, or the LRB. I just think it's one terrific book. The LRB is right to call it "a magnificent feat of research." No news there -- superb research is Bourke's trademark, along with a highly readable style; an unbeatable combination, those two.

Kenneth E. MacWilliams
Portland, Maine
1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 a PhD thesis, labored but not comprehensive or compelling 16 août 2014
Par Keith Aspinall - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
No one could deny the scholarship required to generate this book. However, it reads like a re-edited thesis. The basic assertion of the book is that pain is not purely physiological but is informed by 'social worlds': culture, frameworks, biases, perceptions of the higher morality of the sufferer. The first and last chapters are by far the best, but the book gets bogged down in repetitive details of the semantics of pain, without providing an adequate scientific basis of physiological pain which I believe necessary to carry the argument. There are many emerging novel hypotheses of the physicality of pain, these are not discussed in any detail, nor comprehensively. I learned a great deal of interest, particularly the historical etiology of our attitudes to suffering, but remain unconvinced. One of the best aspects of the book is its comprehensive notes and bibliography. I think the marketers are ahead of the content in the way it is represented, however.
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