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UMKC History Professor Reconstructs the History of Surgery before Anesthesia

The Best Surgeon in England: Percivall Pott, 1713-88Lynda Payne publishes new book about “the best surgeon” in 18th century England.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s History Department is proud to announce the publication Professor Lynda Payne’s new book, The Best Surgeon in England: Percivall Pott, 1713-88, about the influential English surgeon Percivall Pott, whose practice of surgery was praised for being methodical, skilled and measured.

Payne, a specialist in the history of science and medicine, challenges the belief that the practice of surgery prior to the invention of general anesthesia was “a realm of screaming patients and larger than life eccentric medical men whose primary aims were to operate as fast as possible.” The goal of her new book is to humanize and historicize medical practices by looking at the biography of this landmark teacher and practitioner. Continue reading

CAS Associate Dean Publishes Book About the Wartime Deeds of Henry Bloch

Once upon a time, America’s Tax Man was America’s airman.

Henry Bloch, founder of H&R Block, enlisted in the Army Air Corps shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack and was trained as a navigator for bomber missions. He flew 32 missions over Europe as a navigator on a B-17 Flying Fortress. His first mission was the third-ever raid over Berlin by the Allies.

Bloch’s wartime experiences, and the impact those experiences had on shaping his postwar business career, is the topic of a new book from BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Continue reading

Fellowship Award Helps IPhD Student Broaden Vision of Life In Humanities

UMKC Interdisciplinary Ph.D. student Matt Reeves recently received a pre-doctoral fellowship award from the Humanities Without Walls consortium. The fellowship award will pay for Reeves to participate in the organization’s Alternative Academic Careers Summer Workshop. The workshop aims to help prepare doctoral students for careers both within and outside of the academy.
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The Most Interested Man in Kansas City

Bill AshworthScience, art, technology, history, space. Bill Ashworth wants to know about everything.

If  you’re curious, there are many things that Bill Ashworth wants you to know.

But here’s the main thing: Learning is fun.

That optimistic aphorism is more than a casual one to Ashworth and his devoted admirers, who delight in the local educator’s indefatigable interest in not only his chosen academic field—the history of science—but anything else that might tickle his circuitously inquisitive mind.

Ashworth is a longtime associate professor of history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and consultant on rare books for the privately-funded Linda Hall Library, an independent research library of science, engineering and technology across the street from the UMKC campus. Continue reading