Main publications by Hans Ruesch on vivisection

chronologically ordered




Imperatrice nuda
La scienza medica attuale sotto accusa
Rizzoli, Milano, 1976, 318pp

Garzanti, Milano, 1977, 313pp

Civis, Massagno, 1989, 343pp

Civis, Massagno, 2005, iv+343pp


A transcription (212 pp.) of the first edition, with a
Nota editoriale e presentazione
            is freely and integrally downloadable





This famous book is the outcome of the researches and debates in which Ruesch had been involved since the early 1970s. It appeared under the imprint of a major Italian publisher, Rizzoli, at the end of January 1976. It just succeeded in gleaning a score of reviews in newspapers and magazines, more or less positive and sometimes enthusiastic, but the publisher withdrew the book as soon as he could, a few weeks later. For its insight, scope, social and political relevance and literary quality it is one of the most important books ever written against a scientific orthodoxy, in any field. It should be required reading in university courses in medicine, bioethics, history and philosophy of science – and literature.


It has 7 parts: I. Scienza o follia?, II. Le prove, III. Le anime mute, IV. Mito e realtà, V. Il neogalenismo, VI. La ribellione, VII. I nodi al pettine, and several appendices (a short one in the 1st edition, expanded in 1977, and a “Piccola storia editoriale” in 1989 and a preface by M. Mamone Capria in the 4th and last edition before the author’s death).









Slaughter of the Innocent
 Bantam Books, New York, 1978, 433pp











This is the English edition – in fact a much longer book – of Imperatrice nuda, simultaneously published in the United States and Canada by what was then the bigger publisher of North America, Bantam Books, in April 1978. Its somewhat ambiguous title was the publisher’s decision; however the subtitle explained what was meant by it: “Stop the senseless, bloody torture of millions of animals in laboratories all over the world. The breakthrough book that will shock you, enrage you, tear your heart out”. In fact Ruesch wanted the title to be “Naked empress” (like in the original Italian version); he will use the intended original title for the follow-up book.


As said, with respect to Imperatrice nuda it is almost a new book.  It has 10 parts: 1. Science or Madness?, 2. The Voiceless, 3. The Evidence, 4. Fact and Fantasies, 5. The New Religion, 6. Biochemical Bernardism, 7. Dehumanization, 8. The Rebellion, 9. The Comeuppance, 10. Conclusion; there is also an appendix (pp. 411-20) and a very detailed and useful index (pp. 421-32).  







Vivisection is scientific fraud

Civis, , 1979, 52pp (compresa la copertina)








Neither Imperatrice nuda nor Slaughter of the Innocent contained any pictures of vivisection experiments. The verbal description in some pages was more than enough to disturb ordinary readers. This booklet, from which many AV exhibitions have drawn much of their material, is a collection of photographs, with an extended commentary. After leafing through just a few pages, even a reader with a blind faith in bio-medical research will have a hard time in denying that the culprits of such cruel and meaningless experiments are the last people whom you would like to entrust with the care of your health.  






Die Fälscher der Wissenschaft

Civis, 1979, pp. 80+xL


I falsari della scienza

Civis, 1980, 19842, 19913, 40+xlvi pp


Les Faussaires de la Science

Civis, 1993, 92pp










These are relatively thin books, but of big format, providing a direct and enlightening account of several confrontations between Ruesch and top vivisectionists among journalists, doctors, university professors etc. The title translates as “The Counterfeiters of Science”. They are very useful for antivivisectionists who want to know the kind of people they are going to face in public debates, in case they succeed, of course, in getting a vivisectionist to accept to debate vivisection before an audience – a very hard task, by the way. The French text is to a large extent different from the Italian one, as it concentrates mainly on cases of interest to the French and Swiss reader. These books contain as an appendix Vivisection is scientific fraud.








Naked Empress

or The Great Medical Fraud

Civis, 1982, 19862, 19923, 222pp


Die Pharma-Story

 Der Grosse Schwindel

Hirthammer, München, 1985








The third volume in the antivivisection series treats not so much vivisection in itslef, as the system thriving on it: thel «Che-Me-Vi Kombinat», i. e. the chemical, medical and vivisectionist combine. Ruesch had been a novelist, but some of the stories contained in this book would not be accepted in a novel, because they are so unlikely. Unfortunately they are as unlikely and they are true and documented. 


The Engliish version has 6 parts: 1. The Humbug Dogma, 2. The Worldwide Che-Me-Vi Kombinat, 3. The Health Racket, 4. The Power, 5. The Big Brainwash, 6. Kaleidoscope. It contains a detailed index (pp. 217-22).





Bullet-in Nr. 1

The anti-Hans Ruesch front. The British bulwark at Strasbourg

Civis, November 1983, 58pp


Bullet-in Nr. 2

The Infiltration in Animal Welfare

Civis,  January 1, 1988, 58pp






These booklets together could have formed a book with the title “The Counterfeiters of Antivivisectionism”. They are among the texts for which Ruesch was hated in several self-styled “animalist” circles and leagues. Ruesch was convinced that only by denouncing the sinners one could stop the sins to be endlessly repeated – and the AV movement was no exception. Why did such a scientifically and ethically reasonable reform movement as the AV fail? An important part of the answer is contained here.







1000 Ärzte gegen Tierversuche

Civis, 1986, 192pp



1000 Doctors (and many more)

Against Vivisection

Civis, 1989, 281pp







This is a fundamental archive of quotations from medicla doctors and scientists, which gives the definitive proof that vivisection is a scientific absurdity by the very admission of top vivisectors. Its survival only depends on circumstances which have nothing to do with science or medicine. The book is the fulfilment of a promise Ruesch had implicitly made, when in Imperatrice nuda, which contained many quotations which are also reproduced here, he wrote that a whole book could be made of such quotations. Here is the book, a great service to the AV movement, which has often pillaged it without appropriate reference.










For the Abolition of Vivisection


Nr. 1 April 1988

Nr. 24 Fall 2005












Ruesch published his reports in Italian, English, German, and French. The English series is the longest. The reports were the main tool by which Ruesch kept his admirers updated as to what happened in the AV movement worldwide and to himself as an AV activist. In these reports there is both the generosity towards the many people whose work was lavishly described and advertised, and the unrelenting criticism levelled at phoney animalist leaders and leagues, whose hypocrisy was again and again exposed. What not a few people failed to realize was that Ruesch had not taken up antivivisectionism as a way to secure to himself some degree of fame or of social entertainment. When he started his fight he was a famous and established writer with nothing to gain from his new engagement and everything to lose. No wonder he could not stand people in the animal-rights or AV movement that were themselves a part of the problem, not of the solution.




Auf immerwiederkehrende Fragen

Civis-Schweiz, 15pp


Answers Questions on Vivisection

Ukavis Publications, 1998, 20pp


Domande e Risposte sulla Vivisezione

(sperimentazione animale)

CIVIS, 2000, 21pp



A short, brilliant first introduction to antivivisectionism, in several languages.   







Slaughter of the Innocent
(con un saggio introduttivo di M. Mamone Capria e M.J. Walker)

Slingshot Publications, Londra, 2003, xxviii-449pp










This is the last edition of Slaughter of the Innocent. It is printed in slightly larger type face than the original, but the same page layout and numbering has been preserved; as to paper and binding, it is a quality paperback. The long introductory essay puts the book and its content in historical perspective, while at the same time emphasizing its great relevance to present-day concerns.






La medicina smascherata
L'antivivisezionismo come esperienza politica

(a cura di M. Mamone Capria)
Editori Riuniti, Roma, 2005, 271pp, 14










A book-length interview, with introduction, appendices, footnotes, supplementary material, documents. What comes nearest to an autobiography among all Ruesch’s writings. So far, it has not been translated into other languages. Given its international perspective, it should be read and pondered by activists in the no-global movement, whatever their specific objectives, since they have to face today more or less the same institutional, mediatic, legal and illegal obstacles that were thrown at Ruesch and his followers. In Italy few reviews of this book have appeared; even AV leagues chose not to discuss it. However, the latter fact will cause no surprise to its readers, as the book contains a severe indictment of many of those leagues, both in Italy and elsewhere.







La figlia dell'imperatrice
La grande industria della malattia
(edited and with an essay by M. Mamone Capria)
Stampa Alternativa / Nuovi Equilibri, 2006
320pp, 15 euros










Thirty years after Imperatrice nuda, Hans Ruesch at last published the Italian version of Naked Empress, in updated form and with a long appendix, “Criticism of the pharmaceutical industry and of the biomedical research” (pp. 258-317) by M. Mamone Capria, which provides updates and supplementary information. In many ways the testament of Hans Ruesch.