Life at sea can be harsh enough, and for early mariners who endured little known diseases, brutal injuries, and malnutrition at times it was pure hell.
Dr. Zachary B. Friedenberg’s scholarly new book, Medicine Under Sail, is a history of shipboard medicine. He explores medical practices in the British navy from the time of “barber surgeons” and highlights some of the most debilitating shipboard diseases such as scurvy, beriberi, and typhus. Friedenberg takes a close look at death and disease in the slave trade, as well as the medical challenges that faced explorers and survivors at sea. The book not only sheds light on the critical role shipboard doctors played in keeping crew and passengers alive and healthy, but also illustrates the important roles these men played in the advance of medical practice. The book is well written and researched, and makes an important contribution to the field of maritime medicine.
Medicine Under Sail
By Dr. Zachary B. Friedenberg
2002 Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD
ISBN: 1-55750-297-8 $28.95