Is there a resemblance between the contemporary anorexic teenager counting every calorie in her single-minded pursuit of thinness, and an ascetic medieval saint examining her every desire? Rudolph M. Bell suggests that the answer is yes. "Everyone interested in anorexia nervosa . . . should skim this book or study it. It will make you realize how dependent upon culture the definition of disease is. I will never look at an anorexic patient in the same way again."--Howard Spiro, M.D., Gastroenterology "[This] book is a first-class social history and is well-documented both in its historical and scientific portions."--Vern L. Bullough, American Historical Review "A significant contribution to revisionist history, which re-examines events in light of feminist thought. . . . Bell is particularly skillful in describing behavior within its time and culture, which would be bizarre by today's norms, without reducing it to the pathological."--Mary Lassance Parthun, Toronto Globe and Mail "Bell is both enlightened and convincing. His book is impressively researched, easy to read, and utterly fascinating."--Sheila MacLeod, New StatesmanBell, Rudolph M. is the author of 'Holy Anorexia', published 1987 under ISBN 9780226042053 and ISBN 0226042057.