Cold, hard steel

The myth of the modern surgeon

By Agnes Arnold-Forster

Cold, hard steel
Hardcover -
  • Price: £25.00
  • ISBN: 9781526156624
  • Publish Date: Jun 2023
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information


    Brilliant, volatile and invariably male, the surgeon stereotype is a widespread and instantly recognisable part of western culture. Setting out to anatomise this stereotype, Cold, hard steel offers an exciting new history of modern and contemporary British surgery.

    The book draws on archival materials and original interviews with surgeons, analysing them alongside a range of fictional depictions, from the Doctor in the House novels to Mills & Boon romances and the pioneering soap opera Emergency Ward 10. Presenting a unique social, cultural and emotional history, it sheds light on the development and maintenance of the surgical stereotype and explains why it has proved so enduring.

    At the same time, the book explores the more candid and compassionate image of the surgeon that has begun to emerge in recent years, revealing how a series of high-profile memoirs both challenge the surgical stereotype and simultaneously confirm it.


    Introduction: Sir Lancelot Spratt and the myth of the modern surgeon
    1 Self-made myths
    2 Surgeons in film, fiction, and on TV screens
    3 Surgical conduct and surgical communities
    4 Gender in surgery
    5 Race and ethnicity in surgery
    6 Surgical time
    7 Military myths and metaphors
    Conclusion: moving myths


    Agnes Arnold-Forster is a Chancellor's Fellow at the University of Edinburgh

    Cold, hard steel

    By Agnes Arnold-Forster

    Hardcover £25.00 / $36.95

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