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Quack!: Tales of Medical Fraud from the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices Paperback – January 1, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-1891661105 ISBN-10: 1891661108 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Santa Monica Press; 1 edition (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891661108
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891661105
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.6 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,147,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a bizarre and enthusiastic book, perfect for anyone who savors the intersection of human folly and weird science." -- Suzy Hansen Salon.com

A stunning testament to the myriad ways people have tried to make money off the eternal ills of humankind. -- New York Times

Bob McCoy's engaging assortment of quackery on parade is simutaneously entertaining and thought-provoking. -- Money Magazine

The country's largest assemblage of medical bunkum on display to the public...McCoy is a barker for common sense in a carnival of medical quackery. -- American Medical Association News

About the Author

Bob McCoy is the founder and curator of the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices in St. Anthony Main in Minneapolis. This is the nation's largest public display of "quack" medical devices and was founded in 1987. Mr. McCoy's past occupations include soap salesman, mill steel salesman, and family planning clinic administrator. He is a hobby printer, licensed humanist minister, and a member of the Committee for the Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. It is as a skeptic that McCoy has worked to expose health fraud, and the museum is an entertaining and informative means of doing just that. He has been awarded the Special Citizenship award from the FDA for his work in exposing health fraud. McCoy is married with three grown children and five grandchildren.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rob Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
It might be a good thing if there were no placebo effect, because then people could quickly tell if a drug or gadget worked. But since we aren't really good judges of that (it takes complicated experiments to tell if a drug is effective or not, for instance), all sorts of weird remedies have been tried and have been lucrative for their makers. These are the rightful prey of Bob McCoy, who a decade or so ago established the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices in Minneapolis. In _Quack! Tales of Medical Fraud from the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices_ (Santa Monica Press), McCoy shows some of the contents of his museum, in book form. It's a treat.
All sorts of nostrums and gadgets are described and illustrated here: soaps that wash away weight, breast developers, and various stimulants to the sexual appetite. These are funny, but also covered is the tragedy of radium and those poisoned by it. The gadgets are hilarious. Nose adjusters, height developers, even glasses that would reduce your weight. The book has abundant quotations from the advertising and pamphlets that came with the quackery, and is profusely illustrated. Americans spend a hundred million dollars a year on quack pills and gadgets that do nothing and may be harmful. So _Quack!_ might not just deliver the fun of laughing at human greed and credulity, but it may help the serious education of readers as well.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on June 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
Quack!: Tales Of Medical Fraud From The Museum Of Questionable Medical Devices is an informative and fascinating compendium of quaint, preposterous, and occasionally horrifying medical devices foisted upon the public by calculating charlatans and misguided medical practitioners. Some of these purveyors held the public's rapt attention for a time (Albert Abrams, who believed that all that was needed from a patient was a drop of blood, a single hair, or a handwriting sample which gave off a "vibration" that could be used for diagnosis and treatment, was promoted by Upton Sinclair in "Pearson's" magazine), while others were simple snake-oil vintage conmen whose tactics were to "hit and run". Profusely illustrated with photographs of odd medical mechanism, period advertisements, and newspaper clippings of the day, Bob McCoy (curator of the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices) offers a full-spectrum, very highly recommended survey of American medical quackery from the Prostate Gland Warmer to the Recto Rotor, the Nose Straightener to the Wonder Electric Generator.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Behary on December 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
The long wait ends for a modern book on quack medical devices! The quality is everything one might hope for and more. Excellent quality, and highly entertaining.
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Format: Paperback
Full of great primary source material for anyone interested in quack medicine, early advertisement, or strange gadgets/gizmos. Although some of the information provided by the author lacks nuance it is at times quite informative while at other times it only provided minimal information or discussion on the topic at hand.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I picked this book up on a whim. Very entertaining. I had seen some of this quack medical "equipment" in anitque stores before and always wondered about the items. This just proves that a large portion of the public will buy anything to feel better or look younger.
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By K. Kelly on October 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love this book and all the weird/interesting things that are part of medical history. Crazy to think how far we have come from these wacky and sometimes dangerous contraptions.
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