If you enjoy reading medical history, The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine by Lindsey Fitzharris, is for you. Although this book was published in 2017, it is an interesting read at this juncture because it tells the story of Joseph Lister. Lister was a famous surgeon in the United Kingdom in the mid-to-late 1800s; however, his legacy is his research related to the use of carbolic acid during and after surgery to decrease infection. At a time when most still believed hospital environments were the cause of high mortality rates, Lister’s ideas were not immediately accepted. However, his careful and ongoing research, continued improvements to his procedures, and his study of Pasteur’s germ theory led him to define the first widely accepted antiseptic procedures.

Fitzharris, who holds a doctorate degree in the history of science and medicine from Oxford University, writes in easy-to-understand and fast-moving prose as she shares Lister’s story, which serves as a history of surgery during the 19th century.

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