'Thrilling... The “dizzying” story of heart surgery is every bit as important as that of the nuclear, computer or rocket ages. And now it has been given the history it deserves' James McConnachie, Sunday Times
For thousands of years the human heart remained the deepest of mysteries; both home to the soul and an organ too complex to touch, let alone operate on. Then, in the late nineteenth century, medics began going where no one had dared go before.
In eleven landmark operations, Thomas Morris tells us stories of triumph, reckless bravery, swaggering arrogance, jealousy and rivalry, and incredible ingenuity, from the trail-blazing ‘blue baby’ procedure to the first human heart transplant. The Matter of the Heart gives us a view over the surgeon’s shoulder, showing us the heart’s inner workings and failings. It describes both a human story and a history of risk-taking that has ultimately saved millions of lives.
"Thrilling ... Significant and often immersive… The “dizzying” story of heart surgery is every bit as important as that of the nuclear, computer or rocket ages. And now it has been given the history it deserves"
"The research that has gone into this book is simply staggering, and Morris has achieved much more than a history of heart operations… It is a study of human beings driven by Olympian ambition and bottomless curiosity. It is, in the end, a book about wonder. And a wonderful book."
"Gripping... The Matter of the Heart details the breathtaking advances that have been made in the past 100 years."
"Thomas Morris has written not a history of medical ideas about the heart, but a history of heart surgery... The stories come quickly: fluent, wry, admiring ... Morris has made something unique: a history less of people than of procedures, but lively, enthusiastic and brimming with detail ... anything but boring."
"I recommend the book to all who are fascinated by the medical world...a thoroughly engaging history."