Cook, Harold John 1952-
COOK, Harold John 1952-
PERSONAL: Born May 7, 1952, in Evanston, IL; son of John D. and Sybilla (a librarian; maiden name, Avery) Cook; married Faye Marie Getz (an historian), November 30, 1985. Education: Cornell College, B.A., 1974; University of Michigan, M.A., 1975, Ph.D., 1981.
ADDRESSES: Office—Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, University College, London, 24 Eversholt St., London NW1 1AD, England. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Educator, administrator, and author. Harvard University, Boston, MA, assistant professor and head tutor, 1982-85; University of Wisconsin—Madison, assistant professor, 1985-88, associate professor, 1988-93, professor of history of medicine, 1993-200, chair of department, 1993-98-; Wellcome Trust Center for the History of Medicine, University College, London, London, England, director, 2000—. Visiting assistant professor of history of science, University of Oklahoma, 1981-82; part-time lecturer at Humanities, Sozialund Kulturgeschichte, Berlin, Germany.
MEMBER: American Historical Association, American Association for the History of Medicine, History of Science Society, Society for the Social History of Medicine, Society for the History of Natural History, North American Conference on British Studies.
The Decline of the Old Medical Regime in Stuart London, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1986.
Trials of an Ordinary Doctor: Joannes Groenevelt in Seventeenth-Century London, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1994.
Contributor to periodicals, including Social History of Medicine, American Journal of Legal History, Medical History, Osiris, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Journal of the History of Ideas, History of Science, Journal of British Studies, and Annals of Science. Work has been collected in anthologies, including The Scientific Revolution in National Context, Cambridge University Press, 1992.
SIDELIGHTS: Educator Harold J. Cook's works focus on the history of medicine during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. His first book, The Decline of the Old Medical Regime in Stuart London, reflects the author's interest in the conservative medical establishment at the time, a subject Cook examines even more acutely in Trials of an Ordinary Doctor: Joannes Groenevelt in Seventeenth-Century London. In this second work, Cook reveals "the complexities of professionalism, medical practice, and British society around 1700," according to Gert H. Brieger in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Groenevelt was a Dutch physician who moved to London to establish a medical practice. He quickly found himself at odds with the medical community there with his desire to focus on the practice of internal medicine, which inspired jealousy among his peers. Groenevelt was sued by a patient on whom he had operated for gall stones, and his subsequent trial was used as a forum by his enemies to attack him professionally. Although he was eventually exonerated, the trial ruined his reputation and he died penniless. "Though new ideas were flourishing and London and the rest of England were seeing demographic and economic growth," commented Brieger, "the fundamentally conservative nature of British institutions, especially medicine, is readily evident in this gripping story of a man of talent and energy outside the traditional field." English Historical Review contributor Paul Slack praised Cook for his research into both Dutch and English primary source material and his ability to bring this research together into "a readable and engrossing narrative work and a work with wider implications."
Cook once told CA: "I am deeply interested in the ways in which social experience affects our cultural notions and ideas. In my historical work, therefore, I have tried to integrate social and intellectual history, especially in the areas of the history of medicine and the history of science. Since all people face illness and death, the ways in which they meet them tell much about their culture. My continuing interest, therefore, is to uncover the ways in which social, economic, and political changes in early modern Europe affected medical and scientific ideas, practices, and professions."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, December, 1995, Anita Guerrini, review of Trials of an Ordinary Doctor: Joannes Groenevelt in Seventeenth-Century London, p. 1565.
Choice, January, 1995, G. Eknoyan, review of Trials of an Ordinary Doctor, p. 822.
English Historical Review, February, 1997, Paul Slack, review of Trials of an Ordinary Doctor, p. 204.
Journal of British Studies, October, 1997, Margaret C. Jacob, review of Trials of an Ordinary Doctor, p. 459.
Journal of the American Medical Association, December 13, 1995, Gert H. Brieger, review of Trials of an Ordinary Doctor, p. 181.
Times Higher Education Supplement, October 28, 1994, Alice Stewart, review of Trials of an Ordinary Doctor, p. 20.
Times Literary Supplement, July 11, 1986.*
Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine Web site,http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ (July 24, 2003), "Professor Harold Cook."*