The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers

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Product Details

$36.99  $34.40
Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.3 X 1.3 inches | 1.7 pounds
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About the Author

Joanna Bourke is Professor of History at Birkbeck College at University of London. She is the prize-winning author of nine books, including histories of modern warfare, military medicine, psychology and psychiatry, the emotions, and rape. Among others, she is the author of Dismembering the Male: Men's Bodies, Britain, and the Great War (1996), An Intimate History of Killing (1999), Fear: A Cultural History (2005) and Rape: A History from 1860 to the Present (2007), What it Means to be Human: Reflections from 1791 to the Present (2011), and Wounding the World: How Military Violence and War-Play Invade our Lives (2014). An Intimate History of Killing won the Wolfson Prize and the Fraenkel Prize, and "Eyewitness," her audio history of Britain, won a number of prizes, including the Gold for the Most Original Audio. She is also a frequent contributor to TV and radio shows, and a regular newspaper correspondent.


"This book is rich with examples illustrating medical, religious, racial, and gendered discourses about its subject and the impact these have had, and continue to have, in the provision of medical care to the public . . . A fascinating read" --Library Journal

"Bourke has done a fine job of detailing the story of pain and the folly it reveals."
--Kirkus Reviews

"The Story of Pain is full of harrowing first-hand accounts of excruciating pain
. . . But on balance, reading The Story of Pain is more pleasant than painful. Bourke has, for the most part, put together a fantastic, compelling, and engaging history. She writes scrupulously and generously." --Bookforum

"The Story of Pain is a bold exploration grounded in historical sources . . . [it] opens an enormous field of inquiry with interesting but unexplored ramifications . . . Bourke's work prompts the need for a study of contemporary understandings of religion and pain. The field is open." --National Catholic Reporter