"In this provocative ethnography, Hogle reveals how the uses of human tissue and organs as therapeutic agents are intimately related not only to expanding arenas of commodification, but also to the politics of nationalism. A challenge to received wisdom about bodies and person." -- Margaret Lock, author of Encounters with Aging: Mythologies of Menopause in Japan and North America
"This astonishing portrait of changing understanding of life and death is both profound and revolutionary. While extending classical debates about body parts as gifts and as commodities, it brilliantly transfigures them. Unparalleled in its field, this powerful book redefines the future of medical anthropology." -- Sarah Franklin, Reader in Cultural Anthropology, Lancaster University, England
From the Back Cover
The body is both a site for medical practice and a source of tools for therapeutic and scientific uses. There are many meanings ascribed to the body that both affect and are affected by numerous cultural, economic, political, and legal issues. In order to procure and use body organs and tissues, Linda F. Hogle states, scientists enlist a wide array of cultural assumptions. Nowhere is this more evident than in present-day Germany, where the specter of Nazi medical experimentation still plays a large role in national policies are put into practice. In their efforts themselves from the atrocities of the past, German medical practitioners and policy-makers have reformulated ideas of bodily violation. Furthermore, the reunification of East and West Germany has engendered new questions about the relationships among individuals' bodies, science, and the state.
Recovering the Nation's Body is the first book to analyze the actual practices involved in procuring human body parts, and the first to examine how the German past and the unique present-day situation within the European Union are keys to understanding the forms that medical practice takes within various cultural contexts.
About the Author
Linda F. Hogle is a fellow at the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics. She has written widely on the anthropology of science and on bioethics and cultural diversity.