The most authoritative and comprehensive book on the subject, written by the author of OUP’s Diabetes: The Bibliography. It is the book that Professor Tattersall has always wanted to write. It chronicles the fascinating and gruelling history of diabetes mellitus over 3000 years, and bears the title he insisted on - the "Pissing Evil" - as the disease was called in the 17th century.

Both scholarly and engrossing, this rich social and medical history stands as a tribute to the countless people who suffered over the millennia, those who tried to help them, and those who stood helplessly by for so long. It holds nothing back on the role of the pharmaceutical industry, the controversies, conspiracies, false summits and breakthroughs during the 20th century.

After a lifetime treating and researching diabetes, and his major contribution to modern diabetes management, Tattersall has written this for general readers and historians as well as clinicians and medical students. 

This book is available in both paperback and hardbook editions.

ISBN 978-1-909675-07-0| 400 pages | Paperback £29.99  

ISBN 978-1-909675-09-4 | 400 pages | Hardcover £39.99 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Book reviews

Professor Robert Tattersall was born in in July 1943 in London, and educated at Charterhouse School . He went on to study medicine at the University of Cambridge and St Thomas’ Hospital in London. He continued to train at Nottingham General Hospital before moving back to London, to King’s College Hospital, where he collaborated with consultant physician David Pyke . They conducted research studies on twins with diabetes and established that type 1 and type 2 have different aetiologies.

Over his long career he made many contributions to our understanding of diabetes while treating patients and investigating maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY), the Somogyi effect, brittle diabetes and dead-in-bed syndrome, as well as developing a major milestone in the management of diabetes through self-monitoring of blood glucose levels. 

When he won an award from the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, he was "bitten by the history bug”. On retiring from clinical practice he published many papers on medical history and chapters to many other books, as well as writing his first masterly book called Diabetes: The Biography, published by Cambridge University Press in 2009However, it was with regret that this book could not accommodate his vast body of historical material and knowledge as a hands-on clinician.

Swan & Horn were proud to publish The Pissing Evil - his heavyweight successor. No other book on the subject is so comprehensive, and it stands as a tribute to Tattersall's lifelong dedication to helping people with diabetes and those who try to make their lives better.

You can read more about Robert Tattersall in this article "Robert Tattersall, a Diabetes Physician Ahead of His Time" that appeared in the journal Diabetes Care (American Diabetes Association). 

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