A definitive study of the history of medicine, from the earliest humans to the present day. Medicine is advancing at an incredible rate. We now have the ability to overcome sickness but also to transform the nature of life itself: in many parts of the world, human existence has simply ceased to be 'nasty, brutish and short'. In this titanic history of medicine and disease, Roy Porter examines the traditions of East and West to chart how this revolution has come about. Covering medical milestones big and small - from dissection to surgery and from anaesthesia to AIDS - Roy Porter's masterpiece is both a superlative history of medicine and a sweeping survey of human life and death.