Reviews of WHITE BLOOD
A History of Human Milk
How babies have been fed from antiquity to modern times and why it matters
Read a review in The Times Literary Supplement
"As Lawrence Trevelyan Weaver shows in White Blood: A history of human milk, in the course of the nineteenth century, moralists, politicians and a burgeoning paediatrics profession saw human milk as the solution to a ragbag of ills: not only infant mortality rates, but puny or maldeveloped children, unfit conscripts, depopulation, even moral degradation and domestic instability. Weaver, a paediatrician specializing in nutrition and infant digestion, and a fellow in the history of medicine at the University of Glasgow, tracks how human milk has been valued and devalued across the centuries. His method is to use extended quotations that, as he puts it, enable original sources, mostly English and French, to speak for themselves…."
Watch a review on YouTube by the Baby Historian
"Exploring the history of pregnancy, birth, and infancy around the world"
Listen to EatThisPodcast on: Mothers and Milk
"The ultimate short food chain: one person makes it, another person eats it"
Listen to Gastropod on: The Milk of Life
"No matter what your diet is like today, we all likely started life eating the same thing: breast milk, formula milk, or a bit of both. But both of these products are not always easy to come by . . . ."
Read More Reviews . . . .
"For those who are concerned with the historical, anthropological, or sociological perspectives of infant feeding, White Blood is considerably informative. It also serves as a resource for those who work with infants and mothers, and provides a useful overview of the current medical knowledge about human milk." Journal of Human Lactation
"White Blood makes for excellent reading and encourages reflection on the long history and changing opinions about artificial feeding and maternal milk. And this is all the more appropriate because the debate about the pros and cons of 'breast and bottle' is likely to be an eternal one." Journal of the Society of Alchemy and Chemistry Ambix
"White Blood is an interesting survey over a wide space of time of men's quest to understand a central problem of human existence: gestation and nutrition. The book is richly illustrated, informed, and a useful primer for understanding the change in ideas in the history of science and health over time." History
"Elegantly written and beautifully illustrated, Lawrence Weaver's masterful survey of the scientific, social and cultural ramifications of human milk is an authoritative testimony to this 'miraculous nourishing fluid' that has sustained the young of our species for the past hundreds and thousands of years."
James Le Fanu, author of The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine
"There can be no one better than Lawrence Weaver, paediatrician, scientist and historian, to tell the story of why breast is best. This fascinating book takes the long view and will be an education, even revelation, to parents, paediatricians and public health professionals."
Prof. Sir Alan Craft, former President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
"White Blood will explain to interested and curious parents how breastmilk and breastfeeding have been viewed over two millennia within the medical and physiological theories of the past. Breastfeeding has always been regarded as the optimal way to nourish babies but its challenges and overcoming them, debated in previous times, will resonate with many parents today." Judy More, Director of child-nutrition.co.uk