The "riveting" (Houston Chronicle), "captivating" (Discover), and "compulsively readable" (San Francisco Chronicle) story of the discovery that handwashing helps prevent the spread of disease.
Surgeon, scholar, best-selling author, Sherwin B. Nuland tells the strange story of Ignác Semmelweis with urgency and the insight gained from his own studies and clinical experience. Ignác Semmelweis is remembered for the now-commonplace notion that doctors must wash their hands before examining patients. In mid-nineteenth-century Vienna, however, this was a subversive idea. With deaths from childbed fever exploding, Semmelweis discovered that doctors themselves were spreading the disease. While his simple reforms worked immediatelychildbed fever in Vienna all but disappearedthey brought down upon Semmelweis the wrath of the establishment, and led to his tragic end.
About the Author
Sherwin B. Nuland (19302014) was the National Book Award-winning author of How We Die and clinical professor of surgery at the Yale University School of Medicine.