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An Infidel Body-Snatcher and the Fruits of His Philosophy: The Life of Dr. Charles Knowlton (Freethought History) Paperback – March 14, 2013
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Personally, I was fascinated with the concept of "free thinkers" and how Dr. Knowlton took it upon himself to learn by experience and science, questioning the religion dominated early medical community. Surprising is the lengths he went to bring vital medical information to the public, enduring jail time and prosecution over and over. Many readers will find it astonishing that in our country founded on free speech, a doctor could go to jail for publishing and/or selling a medical book to the public.
Dr. Knowlton is sadly, a little known pioneer in medicine, birth control and the health and welfare of the poor. The author effectively and with easy language, brings this astounding and important life to his readers.
Intriguing and highly recommended.(
While he seems to have been all but forgotten, Knowlton’s life story and ideas are interesting and Allosso’s recounting of them makes for a nice journey. The reader is given the broader context of current medical practice and ideas, of why Knowlton’s body-snatching was so useful and so repulsive to the community at the same time. The same man who treated his first patient, a child with croup, with emetic containing antimony (a toxic metal) also realized later than he’d contaminated a patient by not washing his hands--no small feat for the time and place.
This was a good read, an intriguing subject, and a story well told.
A copy of this book was made available to me in exchange for my honest review.
Knowlton thought it was a women's right and responsibility to have control over the number of children she had and to be able to time those children's births. The change in family size for his area of practice is truly astounding!
This is one man's journey to find truth and evidence, it leads him to debates, jail, and into long-term adversarial relationships with church, state, and those opposed to his findings for moral reasons