Blood and Germs: The Civil War Battle Against Wounds and Disease (Medical Fiascoes)

 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
286 0
Blood and Germs: The Civil War Battle Against Wounds and Disease (Medical Fiascoes)
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
10+
Release Date
October 13, 2020
ISBN
978-1684371761
Buy This Book
      
Acclaimed author Gail Jarrow, recipient of a 2019 Robert F. Sibert Honor Award, explores the science and grisly history of U.S. Civil War medicine, using actual medical cases and first-person accounts by soldiers, doctors, and nurses.

The Civil War took the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans and left countless others with disabling wounds and chronic illnesses. Bullets and artillery shells shattered soldiers' bodies, while microbes and parasites killed twice as many men as did the battles. Yet from this tragic four-year conflict came innovations that enhanced medical care in the United States. With striking detail, this nonfiction book reveals battlefield rescues, surgical techniques, medicines, and patient care, celebrating the men and women of both the North and South who volunteered to save lives.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

The Civil War, Down and Dirty
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0
One of the enduring conundrums of readers advisory I have is this: how do I get books about war to students without glorifying it? There are some students with an insatiable to desire to vicariously experience war, but even eleven year olds need to know that War is Not Good.

This book is perfect.

Jarrow, whose Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary, Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat, Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded America and The Poison Eaters all show impressive writing on medical topics, narrows on what is to me the most fascinating fact about the Civil War: sickness claimed more lives than violence. Diarrhea was one of the most common killers. Nothing takes the glory away from dying for one's country more than a discussion of the number of diseases that could cause this outcome.

This is serious business. The Civil War affected so many families, and in addition to the fatalities among soldiers, there were men who came back in extremely poor health due to a huge number of causes. Jarrow used military records to try to break down the administration of health services, the statistics about various diseases, and to highlight individuals who died because of the war. She does mention that there are far more extant records of the Union forces, but that ratios are probably similar in the Confederate cases.
Good Points
I found it surprising that neither army seemed to have made plans for taking care of soldiers who were ill or injured. Granted, this was during a time where doctor's credentials were not as regulated, and also when there was no formal training of nurses, but basic hygiene was not really addressed. Latrines caused widespread disease, as did lice and lack of clean water. The vast majority of the nursing seems to have been carried out by societies comprised of women volunteers. It was also interesting that some of the soldiers were more susceptible to diseases because they came from small towns or rural settings, so had no immunity built up from being in crowds.

This book is nicely organized, and well designed, with plentiful period photographs and illustrations. Famous figures, such as Clara Barton, are highlighted, but there are lesser known luminaries, like Mary Livermore, who fought for more sanitary conditions in military hospitals, as well. The end notes are very complete, there is a really informative timeline, and the glossary of terms is helpful as well.

Readers who want heroic tales of combat might be disappointed in this, but the cover will draw them in, and they will read at least half of the book before they realize that they are deep into a discussion about scurvy. Students who want to research the Civil War for a history project will find this an invaluable resource about innovations in medicine, technology, and practices that came out of this time period. This is an essential book for middle school and high schools, especially when the Civil War is part of the curriculum.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Neighborhood Surprise
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
All the children in the neighborhood like Mrs. Fig. She...
Jet the Cat (Is Not a Cat)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jet is not like any other cat . . ....
Clique Here: A Wish Novel
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lily loves science and hanging out with her best friend,...
Smoke and Mirrors: The Heartstone
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Corbin, a powerful shapeshifting young mage, was just beginning to...
Better Together
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Freaky Friday meets The Parent Trap in New York Times...
Llama Llama Meets the Babysitter
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
With over 30 million copies in print, Anna Dewdney's New...
City (Wheels at Work)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Delivering, collecting, transporting and recycling! Lift the flap to see...
A Season of Flowers
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Michael Garland (Daddy Played the Blues) displays his impressive illustration...
You Are Fantastic!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Hello!Lucky, the creators of My Mom Is Magical! and...
Early One Morning
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Join a little boy searching the farm for his breakfast...
Little Sap: The Magical Story of a Little Forest Family
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
A little tree, guided by her family circle and forest...
The Little Things: A Story about Acts of Kindness
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
One girl’s simple act of kindness causes ripples in her...
The Cruelest Mercy (The Kinder Poison, #2)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In this sequel to The Kinder Poison—which People magazine proclaimed...
The City Beautiful
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Death lurks around every corner in this unforgettable Jewish historical...
The Shape of Thunder
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Cora hasn’t spoken to her best friend, Quinn, in a...

Latest Member Reviews

I Can See Clearly
 
3.3
"Luc Ponti comes from a strong Italian family, and his father (an NCAA point guard, Princeton grad, Special Forces and..."
Fire with Fire
 
4.7
"Dani Rivera may excel at every part of her dragon slaying training, but she would rather focus on being normal..."
Better Together
 
5.0
"BETTER TOGETHER is a delightful and charming YA contemporary read about sisterhood, family, and healing. Siri lives with her mother..."
Get a Clue: A Bookish Boyfriends #4
 
4.3
"In this fourth book set at Reginald R. Hero High, we meet Huck and Win, the brother of Curtis from..."
The Fault In Our Stars
 
5.0
"I had enjoyed this book to great extent. I loved the relationship connection between the two characters and how the..."
The Cruelest Mercy (The Kinder Poison, #2)
 
4.7
"THE CRUELEST MERCY is an intriguing second book in an enthralling YA fantasy series. After the rush and danger of..."
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
4.0
"What worked: This was a fun take on Crazy Rich Asians meets descendants of Empress Regent of China. Gemma..."
The Box in the Woods (Truly Devious, #4)
 
5.0
"THE BOX IN THE WOODS is a fantastic continuation of Stevie's story with a whole new cold case to solve...."
 
4.7
"Miles "Pudge" Halter seeks for a "Great Perhaps", and attends Culver Creek, a boarding school. Yet, he finds himself with..."
 
5.0
"To say that this book was one of my most anticipated releases for 2021 is an understatement. After the impact..."
 
5.0
"Oh my goodness what a way to end this series! I honestly took a little longer to finish this book..."
 
5.0
"I absolutely loved this sequel. The first one was such a good set up for this book. Nita is free..."