The second edition is getting nearer… I am almost done preparing the manuscript, and soon it will be in the capable hands of my wonderful new publisher, 21st Publishing (See http://www.21stpublishing.com/). So just in case you think a biography of a 12th century scholar and philosopher is going to be all dry and serious and boring, you are wrong. Maimonides was the most fascinating, interesting, sophisticated, and (let’s admit the truth) attractive gentleman. His interests and knowledge were amazingly eclectic – as you can see in this a sample from the book. It might amuse you, and it will certainly surprise you…
Many readers might assumethat because Maimonides lived eight hundred years ago, his attitude toward medicine would necessarily have been medieval. Therefore, the degree to which his thought process proved scientific and modern may be a surprise. True, he based much of his work on the ancient Greek doctors' writings and he admired the great Arab doctors, but Maimonides never prescribed a single medication that he didn't test himself. He introduced unexpected innovations, including some most astonishing theories on psychosomatic medicine, and he was a great pioneer of preventive medicine. He declared that the goal of medicine was to prevent disease rather than to cure it, and maintained that as preventive measures one must visit the doctor often, even when well, and live an orderly, well-regulated life. This way, one could avoid sickness before it attacks. It is not surprising then that some of his wealthy and noble patients, who thought very highly of him, asked him to write treatises on specific subjects.
How he found the time to do it is a mystery, but somehow Maimonides obliged these requests. Maimonides was often too sick and the trembling of his hands prevented him from writing, requiring his nephew Abu Alracha to take dictation. But the books were invariably concise and beautifully organized; the busy physicians who read them did not have to waste time looking for specific information. The medical treatises became extremely popular, and were translated into many languages.