In this remarkable book Jonathan Miller considers the functioning of the body as a subject of private experience. He explores our attitudes towards the body, our astonishing ignorance about certain parts of it and our inability to read its signals. Taking as his starting point the experience of pain, Dr Miller explores the elaborate social process of ‘falling ill’, considers the physical foundations of ‘dis-ease’ and looks at the types of individuals man has historically attributed with the power of healing.
His explanations are so lucid, so wide-ranging and so whole-heartedly entertaining it is often hard to believe one is reading about the facts of one’s own body and what can go wrong with it. His use of metaphor and suggestive models, particularly when tracing the historical development of certain leading ideas in human physiology, is highly stimulating. Above all, there is the keen originality and sheer enthusiasm of Dr Miller’s approach to his subject which makes The Body in Question such an outstanding book.