The Making of Modern Chinese Medicine, 1850-1960

Paperback: $30.00
ISBN-13: 9780824841058
Published: February 2015

Additional Information

256 pages | 12 illustrations, 2 maps
  • About the Book
  • Medical care in nineteenth-century China was spectacularly pluralistic: herbalists, shamans, bone-setters, midwives, priests, and a few medical missionaries from the West all competed for patients. In the century that followed, pressure to reform traditional medicine in China came not only from this small clutch of Westerners, but from within the country itself, as governments set on modernization aligned themselves against the traditions of the past, and individuals saw in the Western system the potential for new wealth and power.

    Out of this struggle emerged a newly systematized Chinese medicine that had much in common with the institutionalized learning and practices of the West. Yet at the same time, Western missionaries on Chinese shores continued to modify their own practices in the traditional style, hoping to appear more approachable to Chinese clients.

    This book examines the dichotomy between “Western” and “Chinese” medicine, showing how it has been greatly exaggerated. As missionaries went to lengths to make their medicine more acceptable to Chinese patients, modernizers of Chinese medicine worked to become more “scientific” by eradicating superstition and creating modern institutions. Andrews challenges the supposed superiority of Western medicine in China while showing how “traditional” Chinese medicine was deliberately created in the image of a modern scientific practice.

  • About the Author(s)
    • Bridie Andrews, Author

      Bridie Andrews is an associate professor of history at Bentley University and teaches the history of medicine at New England School of Acupuncture.
  • Reviews and Endorsements
    • Bridie Andrews' long-awaited first book provides a clear and accessible account of the modem transformations of Chinese medicine throughout the late imperial and early Republican periods. The Making of Chinese Medicine is certain to become standard reading for anyone with interests in Chinese medicine and Chinese medical history. With its clear prose, colorful examples, and careful attention to historical background, this book is suitable for a wide range of audiences, and can just as easily serve as a classroom text as a reference for seasoned scholars.
      —Bulletin of the Pacific Circle
    • This highly anticipated book will make an excellent teaching text in Chinese history and the history of science and medicine. Written in an accessible and delightfully jargon-free yet sophisticated manner, it should appeal to a broad academic readership.
      Ari Larissa Heinrich, author of The Afterlife of Images: Translating the Pathological Body between China and the West
    • The Making of Modern Chinese Medicine will capture the imagination of scholars in a number of key fields. Aside from contributing to our knowledge to Chinese history, it will provide historians of science and postcolonial studies with a new framework for thinking about the introduction of Western learning and culture in former colonies. Andrews’s book will become a classic in the field, discussed and debated for years to come.
      Miranda Brown, author of The Politics of Mourning in Early China
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