Surgery was pretty crazy in the 1800s and early 1900s and Women Under the Knife discusses cases and opinions related to it. I’m not sure if the author was trying to make the point that surgeons operated on both men and women so it really wasn’t significant that women underwent more surgeries than men (the majority of the additional surgeries were gynecological) or that men, and particularly male surgeons, were misogynists and so operated so much on women for that reason. Sometimes it felt like she was making one of those points and sometimes the other and that she didn’t really make either point in the end. It was often dreadfully boring and read like someone’s doctoral thesis. When she was discussing case studies, however, it was fabulous and very interesting. She really should have stuck more to those. I don’t really recommend or not recommend this book either way. It would probably be best skimmed to just read about the surgical cases.
3 (out of 5) Stars
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