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A Cultural History of Healthy Living
This authoritative new book offers a panoramic overview on health and healthy living from classical Antiquity through to the mid-nineteenth century, when scientific medicine began to gain ascendancy. Klaus Bergdolt offers the reader a lively and well exemplified account of the numerous historical manifestations of dietetics showing that despite the diversity of notions of healthy and ill', directions on healthy living remain surprisingly constant throughout the centuries. Notwithstanding his admiration for the achievements of modern medicine, Bergdolt regrets that the simplest dietetic principles such as moderation, as well as the notion of individual responsibility for ones own health, are increasingly neglected, and that the old health precepts are frequently divorced from modern medicine. However, some circumstances, including economic constraints, speak in favour of a better balance between scientific medicine and traditional teachings on healthy living.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
"A fascinating and nearly exhaustive overview of the traditional concepts of hygiene and dietetics from ancient times through to the nineteenth century." Social History of Medicine "The thematic and chronological scope of Wellbeing is ambitious; yet it is surprisingly readable, a testament to both its author and translator. The arrangement of chapters, clear index and thoughtful introduction draw in the reader and the comprehensive referencing provides a wealth of additional material without interrupting the flow of the text." History "In this scholarly, authoritative, and well-referenced monograph, Bergdolt presents the chronological development of many aspects related to well-being, including diet, cleanliness, exercise/sport, spirituality, and psychology, as well as healing (by useful and dubious means) ... Highly recommended for lower-level undergraduates and above and general readers." Choice "Klaus Bergoldt's masterly contribution to the bibliography of health has been a long time coming, but is no less welcome for that ... Bergdolt has achieved a heroic internal synthesis of the health genre." Medical History "This book is ... absolutely central to what traditionally constituted the mainstream of medicine, and Bergdolt handles his subject matter with clarity, skill and erudition." Roy Porter