If the pulsations of the arteries fan and refrigerate the several parts of the body as the lungs do the heart, how comes it, as is commonly said, that the arteries carry the vital blood into the different parts, abundantly charged with vital spirits, which cherish the heat of these parts, sustain them when asleep, and recruit them when exhausted? and how should it happen that, if you tie the arteries, immediately the parts not only become torpid, and frigid, and look pale, but at length cease even to be nourished?-from the IntroductionThis seminal work of medical literature, first published in 1628, spells out in clear, lucid language how the human heart pumps blood around the body via its own exclusive circulatory route. What seems like an obvious concept to us today was in fact quite revolutionary at the time: Harvey's defiance of the medical "common knowledge" of his time laid the groundwork for all modern investigations of the circulatory system, and may be the most momentous discovery of 17th-century medicine.This important volume also includes a series of letters from Harvey to his medical colleagues in which he defends his then-astonishing theories, plus Harvey's "The Anatomy of Thomas Parr," a fascinating 1635 report on the dissection of the corpse of "a poor farmer of extremely advanced age."OF INTEREST TO: readers of scientific history, medical studentsBritish naturalist, anatomist, and doctor WILLIAM HARVEY (1578-1657) was educated at Cambridge, Canterbury, and Padua, and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1607. He served as court physician to both King James I and King Charles I.
A beautifully written and fully illustrated experience of the Great War from a participant . . . Though the United States was late to enter the Great War, a number of idealistic young Americans wished to take part from the beginning. One of these was Avery Royce Wolf, a highly educated scion of a family in Americas burgeoning industrial heartland. Volunteering as an ambulance driver with the French Army in the Verdun sector, Royce sent back a constant stream of highly detailed letters describing the experience of frontline combat, not excluding comments on strategy, the country he encountered, and the Allies prospects for success. This treasure trove of brilliant letters, only recently discovered, is accompanied by several albums worth of rare, high-quality photos depicting aspects of the Great War in France never previously published. The book contains expert overviews to set the reader in Royces time and place; however, the narrative is most gripping with his own day-to-day perceptions, analytical and emotional in turn. The reader can sympathize with Royces dilemma when his original term of service expires and he wonders whether to return home. But then the American army begins to arrive and he decides to continue on. We hear firsthand how the U.S. troops are first kept out of battle, then take casualties no veteran unit would have sustained, because of their fresh-faced audacity. When the Ludendorff Offensive unfolds in spring 1918 there is nothing but disaster to report, as each day witnesses a new collapse before the seemingly unstoppable Germans. Royce believes that the entire Allied war effort is doomed. But then somehow the Allies hold on and the war is nearly at an end. Full of exciting experiences as well as interesting firsthand analyses such as comparing French and German trench works (the latter were far better), Letters from Verdun brings the reader amazingly close to the frontlines of the Great War, almost as if in person.