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The Age of Stress


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Table of Contents

Prologue: The Age of Stress 1: The Shock of Modernity 2: Adaptation and Disease 3: The Biochemistry of Life 4: The Cathedral of Stress 5: Coping with Stress 6: The Pursuit of Happiness Epilogue: The Search for Stability Bibliography Index

About the Author

Mark Jackson is Director of the Centre for Medical History at the University of Exeter. He has served as Chair of the Wellcome Trust History of Medicine Funding Committee, Chair of the Wellcome Trust Research Resources Funding Committee, and Senior Academic Adviser (Medical Humanities) to the Wellcome Trust. He was a member of the History Panel for REF 2014 and has taught modules in the history of medicine and science for thirty years. His books include New-born Child Murder (1996), The Borderland of Imbecility (2000), Allergy: The History of a Modern Malady (2006), Health and the Modern Home (ed., 2007), Asthma: The Biography (2009), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine (ed., 2011), The History of Medicine: A Beginner's Guide (2014), and The Routledge History of Disease (ed., 2016). He is currently writing a book on the history of the midlife crisis.


no-one tells the scientific story of stress better than Mark Jackson, one of the most influential historians of medicine in Anglo-American worlds ... Jackson shows that "stress" was a complex, flexible concept, which could be profoundly helpful in imposing some kind of stability and meaningfulness in an often chaotic world. As in Auden's dramatic poem, 'The Age of Anxiety', stress was a most useful analogy for the 20th century. Jackson's book promises to become a classic for anyone curious about how the language of stress became the lingua franca of our times * Dr Joanna Bourke, Reviews in History *
Mark Jackson's Age of Stress is an exemplary contribution to the historiography of modern psychology, psychiatry, disease and illness. International in scope, Jackson's study skilfully illuminates the development and evolution of a key medical concept that has increasingly defined and structured various aspects of modern human existence. Further to being a significant addition to the history of twentieth-century medicine, The Age of Stress will prove invaluable to social and economic historians of the modern period * Ian Miller, The British Journal for the History of Science *
Jackson argues that stress is the emblematic medical but also cultural condition, not just of our own age, but of modern times. In doing so, he juxtaposes a carefully told story of how medical science developed a theory of stress to make sense of keeping bodies and minds in healthy balance, with a story of how stress as a metaphor came to be deployed in popular culture and in thinking about political stability, economic security, and even the harmony of the cosmos ... The Age of Stress may invite not just a series of more detailed case studies but also a study of even greater ambition. This is a mark of its considerable achievement. * Mathew Thomson, Social History of Medicine *
This is a thoroughly-researched book and a lively story ... the ubiquity of stress in the twenty-first century makes this both an important scholarly work as well as a pleasure to read * Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory *

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