Blood Work by Holly Tucker
A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution

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Synopsis

“Excellent. . . . Tucker’s chronicle of the world of 17th-century science in London and Paris is fascinating.”—The Economist


In December 1667, maverick physician Jean Denis transfused calf’s blood into one of Paris’s most notorious madmen. Days later, the madman was dead and Denis was framed for murder. A riveting exposé of the fierce debates, deadly politics, and cutthroat rivalries behind the first transfusion experiments, Blood Work takes us from dissection rooms in palaces to the streets of Paris, providing an unforgettable portrait of an era that wrestled with the same questions about morality and experimentation that haunt medical science today.
 

About Holly Tucker

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Holly Tucker is an associate professor at Vanderbilt University's Center for Medicine, Health & Society and Department of French & Italian. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
 
Published March 21, 2011 by W. W. Norton & Company. 336 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Travel, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Blood Work

Kirkus Reviews

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Tucker looks at Jean-Baptiste Denis, an ambitious young physician anxious to make a name for himself in Paris, who transfused dogs, horses, pigs and goats before becoming the first to use humans.

Mar 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Blood Work: A Tale of Medicin...

Publishers Weekly

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Tucker, associate professor in Vanderbilt University's Center for Medicine, Health and Society, does a marvelous job of chronicling the 17th-century controversy pitting science against religion and shows how much of the language used then against the new technique of blood transfusion mirrors lan...

Jan 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Blood Work: A Tale of Medicin...

New York Journal of Books

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.” she felt compelled to compile years of research and write Blood Work.Knowing what she knew about transfusion science and the fear of chimeras—animal-human combinations, such as Pan of legend—that had been associated with 17th century science, Dr. Tucker asks, “Should society set limits on scie...

Mar 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Blood Work: A Tale of Medicin...

Dallas News

Tucker’s prologue answers the why-we-should-care question while priming the readers for a tangled plot: “Though blood transfusion is now an accepted practice, its history provides not only insights into past clashes between science and society but also cautionary lessons on how to navigate them.

Apr 08 2011 | Read Full Review of Blood Work: A Tale of Medicin...

Reviewing the Evidence

In a murder mystery set during the scientific revolution of the 17th century, someone is trying to stop the research into blood transfusions at any cost.

| Read Full Review of Blood Work: A Tale of Medicin...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

If I might paraphrase Lady Macbeth, who mused sweetly upon one of her victims, "Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him," I would suggest that a delighted reader's first reaction upon finishing Holly Tucker's captivating, enlightening and mildly horrifying Blood Wo...

Apr 06 2011 | Read Full Review of Blood Work: A Tale of Medicin...

Deseret News

Holly Tucker explores the history of early blood transfusion research, particularly one experiment that ended up killing a patient and effectively shutting down further research for a century and a half.

Mar 12 2011 | Read Full Review of Blood Work: A Tale of Medicin...

Portland Book Review

Tucker reminds us that we are not at all far removed from the superstition surrounding blood transfusion, stating that donated blood was routinely segregated by race, well into the 1970s.

Mar 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Blood Work: A Tale of Medicin...

Story Circle Book Reviews

In the early days of experiments with blood transfusions, it was feared that transfusing blood of another species into a human could result in a chimera—a creature that was a combination of traits from both species.

Sep 12 2011 | Read Full Review of Blood Work: A Tale of Medicin...

io9

Science and entertainment from the world of tomorrow.

Nov 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Blood Work: A Tale of Medicin...

Science News

It’s hard to believe now, but Copernicus worked out that the Earth revolves around the sun decades before scientists figured out that blood circulates through the human body.

May 20 2011 | Read Full Review of Blood Work: A Tale of Medicin...

LabLit.com

Quacks is a fine read, but it feels more like a textbook at times, and the lack of focus on individual characters fails to provide an anchor in the narrative, making it hard to really feel what life was like in the 17th Century.

Jan 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Blood Work: A Tale of Medicin...

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