Posted on 2007-07-21. By anonymous.
Boxing: Medical Aspects
Publisher: Academic Press
Number Of Pages: 900
Publication Date: 2003-04
Sales Rank: 1711075
ISBN / ASIN: 0127091300
Manufacturer: Academic Press
Studio: Academic Press
Average Rating: 2
This book neither argues for or against the continuation of boxing, but lays out the literature and the body of scientific knowledge that are necessary to provide a meaningful background for the ensuing debate. It provides a comprehensive resource for those who are involved in regulating boxing and those who participate directly, as well as for the medical and scientific communities. Includes carefully quoted case histories and research as well as an extensive body of medical literature on boxing injuries to demonstrate that brain damage is a natural consequence of boxing.
* Presents in-depth analysis of the phenomenon of "punch drunkness"
* Includes detailed case histories of the clinical and pathomorphological findings uncovered by current medical research
* Extensively reviews medical literature
Medical Mischief and Boxing
The sport of boxing has long needed a modern medical review. This book purports to fill that need. The author, Friedrich Unterharnscheidt and his wife, Julia Taylor-Unterharnscheidt are to be congratulated on their efforts to tackle a difficult and complicated subject. The senior author demonstrates a continental ability to survey a variety of European scientific sources including German, French and Italian as well as English literature. In addition, he expreses a knowledge of both Greek and Latin and plans further books on the history and law of boxing. Surely he puts most English language authors to shame in his ability to incorporate material from so many sources.
Having said that, this book leaves much to be desired. The senior author is a neurologist, a psychiatrist and a neuropathologist. For this reason, his efforts are concentrated primarily on injuries to the brain. Other types of medical issues get very short shrift. In a book of 796 pages,I looked in vain for references to "the boxer's fracture" of the hand. And although he gives a passing reference to the role of boxing gloves in
fighting, he makes almost no reference to bare-knuckle fights and the
effect that they had on the body. Still, even in a large book one cannot cover every subject.
Rather more disturbing are the editorial issues that plague this book. The material is technical, but still, that is no excuse for the numerous proofreading errors that at times confuse the text. Nor can we understand why the authors would quote a source, and then repeat word for word the exact material they just quoted ( see p.56 for example). Further the organization of the book itself reminds one of a boxing scrapbook with
unrelated information juxtaposed on the same page. In the chapter on the General Aspects of the Biomechanics of Boxing (pp.45-53) we find a series of short sections on Pneumatic Boxing Gloves (p.52), Thumbless Boxing Gloves (p.52) Discussion of Ideas and Terms in Boxing (p.52-53), The Longest Boxing matches with and without gloves (p.53 ) and So-called "No Decision Bouts" (p.53). Interesting as these are, they do not make up for the fact that we are being short-changed on the discussion of the biomechanics of boxing.
Another irritating problem is that the authors cite authors whose names do not appear in the bibliography. We are left to wonder who Golesworthy (p.60) is along with others. Since there are no footnotes, we are on our own to track down some of the sources cited.
Finally, the authors repeatedly state that they are not here to make a case for whether boxing should or should not be banned. Yet the pages are repleat with pleas for this very action. In the Afterword, the authors state "It is not for us to theorize about whether boxing should exist as it is, or not at all." Yet in the next paragraph they state: " From a medical point of view, the only way to prevent brain damage is to prevent the trauma that causes it." It is clear that the authors feel strongly about this point and with considerable justification. Their professional background seems to have trapped them. They clearly are concerned with the brain damage that they see in fighters. They clearly would like to contribute to the demise of boxing. They have chosen the constructive method of writing a book about brain injuries in boxing. But their book suffers from being misnamed and from egregious editorial and production errors which make it far less useful than a book this big and this expensive should be. PASSWORD: giga
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