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6 Local Warehouse History of Science- General
21 Remote Warehouse Health and Medicine- Anatomy and Physiology

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

by

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem.

For 2,000 years, cadavers—some willingly, some unwittingly—have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. They've tested France's first guillotines, ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. For every new surgical procedure—from heart transplants to gender reassignment surgery—cadavers have been there alongside surgeons, making history in their quiet way.

In this fascinating, ennobling account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries—from the anatomy labs and human-sourced pharmacies of medieval and nineteenth-century Europe to a human decay research facility in Tennessee, to a plastic surgery practice lab, to a Scandinavian funeral directors' conference on human composting. In her droll, inimitable voice, Roach tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

Review:

"As fascinating as it is funny....The research is admirable, the anecdotes carefully chosen, and the prose lively; and they combine to produce a book that everyone in the health care field should have to read, and everyone else will want to." Caleb Carr, author of The Alienist

Review:

"Not grisly but inspiring, this work considers the many valuable scientific uses of the body after death. Drawn from the author's popular Salon column." Library Journal

Review:

"Fascinating, unexpectedly fresh and funny look at the multiplicity of ways in which cadavers benefit the living....Roach delights in imparting odd information, such as the fact that 18th-century students at certain Scottish medical schools could pay their tuition in corpses rather than cash, and when the curious facts unearthed by her research don't fit neatly into her narrative, she slips them into droll footnotes. Informative, yes; entertaining, absolutely." Kirkus Reviews

Book News Annotation:

From medicinal mummies to cadaver models for crash-test dummies, a San Francisco writer presents a well-researched, lively dissection of offbeat ways that the dead have served the living and treats medical and ethical issues. Not a life or death matter, but a spell checker/editor missed the use of "piece" for "peace" (p.150). Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

"One of the funniest and most unusual books of the year....Gross, educational, and unexpectedly sidesplitting."--Entertainment Weekly

Synopsis:

Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers--some willingly, some unwittingly--have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. They've tested France's first guillotines, ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. For every new surgical procedure, from heart transplants to gender reassignment surgery, cadavers have been there alongside surgeons, making history in their quiet way.

In this fascinating, ennobling account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries--from the anatomy labs and human-sourced pharmacies of medieval and nineteenth-century Europe to a human decay research facility in Tennessee, to a plastic surgery practice lab, to a Scandinavian funeral directors' conference on human composting. In her droll, inimitable voice, Roach tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

About the Author

Mary Roach's popular column in Salon inspired this book. She is also the author of the "My Planet" column in Reader's Digest. Her writing has appeared in Outside, the New York Times Magazine, and numerous other publications. She lives in San Francisco.

Table of Contents

A head is a terrible thing to waste : practicing surgery on the dead — Crimes of anatomy : body snatching and other sordid tales from the dawn of human dissection — Life after death : on human decay and what can be done about it — Dead man driving : human crash test dummies and the ghastly, necessary science of impact tolerance — Beyond the black box : when the bodies of the passengers must tell the story of a crash — The cadaver who joined the army : the sticky ethics of bullets and bombs — Holy cadaver : the crucifixion experiments — How to know if you're dead : beating-heart cadavers, live burial, and the scientific search for the soul — Just a head : decapitation, reanimation, and the human head transplant — Eat me : medicinal cannibalism and the case of the human dumplings — Out of the fire, into the compost bin : and other new ways to end up — Remains of the author : will she or won't she?

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

kvv_law, September 26, 2008 (view all comments by kvv_law)
mind blowing knowledge, continue the same for the society.....
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
littleredperson, May 8, 2007 (view all comments by littleredperson)
this small book was such an interestingly good and entertaining read! I picked it up from my local library and simply couldn't put it down until finished. It covers a very extensive range of topics all relating to dignified [or not] disposal of the body after death, and Ms Powell has certainly explored most avenues - and had doors opened to her by committed and dedicated individuals or organisations. She's delved through history looking at the dignified and garish; at the beginnings of medical science and its development; at traditional as well as new environmentally conscientous methods of funerary disposal. It bring you to focus on what you definitely WOULD like - just as much as ways and means you wouldn't wish to be disposed of - after life... at last there is a menu of choice!
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(4 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393050936
Author:
Roach, Mary
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Location:
New York
Subject:
History
Subject:
Anatomy
Subject:
Death & Dying
Subject:
Forensic Medicine
Subject:
Human experimentation in medicine
Subject:
Human dissection
Subject:
Dead
Subject:
History of Science-General
Subject:
Human Physiology
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Series Volume:
Volume 2
Publication Date:
20030431
Binding:
Hardcover
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.6 x 5.9 x 1.1 in 1.06 lb

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Related Subjects


Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Anatomy and Physiology
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » History of Medicine
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
History and Social Science » Journalism » Reference
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$23.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393050936 Reviews:
"Review" by , "As fascinating as it is funny....The research is admirable, the anecdotes carefully chosen, and the prose lively; and they combine to produce a book that everyone in the health care field should have to read, and everyone else will want to."
"Review" by , "Not grisly but inspiring, this work considers the many valuable scientific uses of the body after death. Drawn from the author's popular Salon column."
"Review" by , "Fascinating, unexpectedly fresh and funny look at the multiplicity of ways in which cadavers benefit the living....Roach delights in imparting odd information, such as the fact that 18th-century students at certain Scottish medical schools could pay their tuition in corpses rather than cash, and when the curious facts unearthed by her research don't fit neatly into her narrative, she slips them into droll footnotes. Informative, yes; entertaining, absolutely."
"Synopsis" by , "One of the funniest and most unusual books of the year....Gross, educational, and unexpectedly sidesplitting."--Entertainment Weekly
"Synopsis" by , Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers--some willingly, some unwittingly--have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. They've tested France's first guillotines, ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. For every new surgical procedure, from heart transplants to gender reassignment surgery, cadavers have been there alongside surgeons, making history in their quiet way.

In this fascinating, ennobling account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries--from the anatomy labs and human-sourced pharmacies of medieval and nineteenth-century Europe to a human decay research facility in Tennessee, to a plastic surgery practice lab, to a Scandinavian funeral directors' conference on human composting. In her droll, inimitable voice, Roach tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.
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