Circumcision: A History of the World's Most Controversial Surgery

Synopsis

How has a medical practice that carries substantial risk to the patient and offers very little actual benefit become so widely accepted by parents and fiercely advocated by the medical community? Historian of medicine David Gollaher tells the strange history of medicine's oldest enigma and most persistent ritual in Circumcision. From the extraordinarily painful initiation rite of the ancient Egyptians, through the Hebrew purification ritual, through circumcision's use by the rising medical community in the nineteenth century as prevention for ailments ranging from bedwetting to paralysis, the great mystery has been the persistence of the practice through vastly different social contexts.

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 2000