- An insightful and eminently readable critical account of the history of medicine and healing in the Indian context. A medical practitioner by training, Varma provides a compelling critique of existing fashionable approaches to the study of medicine in colonial India and refreshingly rejects labels such as “indigenous” and “Western” medicine etc. The application of a materialist perspective for understanding the interaction between medicine, colonialism and capitalism in India allows Varma to provide a realistic and convincing account of the progress and problems of modern medicine on a global scale. This gem of a book is highly recommended for anyone interested in a critical understanding of the enduring contemporary relevance of the history of medicine. — Zaheer Baber, Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto
- In this new book, Daya Varma, the justly acclaimed author of Reason and Medicine, the landmark study on the art and science of healing since antiquity, challenges the traditional and postmodern critics of colonial - that is, modern - medicine. Building on Karl Marx’s insights that colonialism had both destructive and regenerative aspects, Varma as a leading historian of medicine provides a positive but critical look at the legacy of British colonialism in the area of medicine and public health. Drawing on a vast literature across disciplines, he effectively demolishes the case of the critics. Varma takes a holistic view of medicine, embedding its study in society, economy and polity, in particular the poverty dimension. There is a lot to learn from this new authoritative study on colonialism and medicine in India. — Baldev Raj Nayar, Professor Emeritus, Political Science, McGill University, Montreal
- Daya Ram Varma, MD, PhD (1929-2015) was Professor Emeritus, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, McGill University, Montreal. He studied at the King George Medical College, Lucknow.
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