The Facemaker: One Surgeon's Battle to Mend the Disfigured Soldiers of World War I (Paperback)Lindsey Fitzharris (author)
Shedding light on the ambitious work of the pioneering plastic surgeon Harold Gillies with the First World War soldiers who sustained facial injuries in battle, The Facemaker tells the story of how imagination and medical innovation helped to restore faces – and identities – wrecked by war.
From the moment the first machine gun rang out over the Western Front, one thing was clear: mankind's military technology had wildly surpassed its medical capabilities. The war caused carnage on an industrial scale, and the nature of trench warfare meant that thousands sustained facial injuries. In The Facemaker, award-winning historian Lindsey Fitzharris tells the true story of the pioneering plastic surgeon Harold Gillies, who dedicated himself to restoring the faces of a brutalized generation.
Gillies, a Cambridge-educated New Zealander, established one of the world's first hospitals dedicated entirely to facial reconstruction. At a time when losing a limb made a soldier a hero but losing a face made him a monster to a society largely intolerant of facial differences, Gillies restored not just faces, but identities and spirits.
The Facemaker places Gillies's ingenious surgical innovations alongside the dramatic stories of soldiers whose lives were wrecked and repaired. The result is a vivid account of how medicine and art can merge, and of what courage and imagination can accomplish in the presence of relentless horror.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 270 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 20 mm
'In this fascinating book, Fitzharris reminds us there is nothing superficial about plastic surgery's ability to heal minds as well as bodies' - Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday
'Scholarly yet deeply moving... this a fascinating book about a remarkable man, and of how teamwork is such an important part of good surgery. Despite the grim subject matter, it is a deeply moving and uplifting story' - Henry Marsh, New Statesman
'Careful... sensitive... [Fitzharris] has successfully pieced together the story of a team of doctors, hospital workers and patients "battling" together during the First World War to modernize reconstructive plastic surgery... Fitzharris constructs a variegated and tender account of the First World War, its brutality and its narratives of human redemption... tenderness and pathos pervade the personal stories of surgery and recovery, as well as Fitzharris's engagement with the ethics of facial difference and display' - Christine Slobogin, TLS
'The Facemaker is an engaging biography of a masterful surgeon as well as a heartening account of medical progress' - Economist
'Sometimes distressing, sometimes thrilling, The Facemaker had me gripped; it is elegantly written and endlessly fascinating. Employing just the right balance between diligent research and ingenious reanimation, Fitzharris brings to life a neglected slice of medical history, telling both Gillies' story as well as that of many of the men whose faces - and lives - he saved' - Lucy Scholes, Financial Times
'Engrossing... Fitzharris presents an intensely moving and hugely enjoyable story about a remarkable medical pioneer and the men he remade' - Wendy Moore, Guardian
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“Five stars, and then some more”
I cannot shout loud enough about this cracking book!
I’ve never read a nonfiction book from cover to cover...but this is going to be followed by reading The Butchering Art for me...
I work with a team of plastic... More
“Gillies, the unsung hero..”
Fitzharris’s biography exposes who Harold Gillies really was, a New Zealander doctor of Scottish heritage, who invented many techniques to reconstruct the faces of many soldiers disfigured during the First World War.... More
“A fascinating, heartbreaking & ultimately hopefully story.”
Thank you so much Allen Lane/Penguin Random House for this proof.
A fascinating, heartbreaking & ultimately hopefully story of a man who changed so many lives.
The Facemaker not only tells the story of Harold... More
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