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.
This book will be of particular interest to students or scholars studying China, medical history, or East-West relations.
- 2015, Short-listed - ICAS Book Prize, International Convention of Asia Scholars
The great merit of this book is that Andrews not only has extensively researched her topic, working with a broad range of primary and secondary sources, but also reads her materials critically.
[The Making of Modern Chinese Medicine, 1850–1960] present[s] a number of astute insights that promise to remain authoritative in the field for years to come … Andrews’s discussion of the advent of scientific acupuncture provides a sorely needed historical explanation for its contemporary survival and popularity.
The Making of Modern Chinese Medicine will capture the imagination of scholars in a number of key fields. Aside from contributing to our knowledge of 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.
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.
1 Modernities and Medicines
2 The Spectrum of Chinese Healing Practices
3 Missionary Medicine from the West
4 The Significance of Medical Reforms in Japan
5 Public Health and State-Building
6 Medical Lives
7 New Medical Institutions
8 From New Theories to New Practices
9 Conclusions: Medicine and Modernity with David L. Schwarzkopf
Notes; Bibliography; Index
Receive the latest UBC Press news, including events, catalogues, and announcements.Subscribe to our newsletter now
Read past newsletters