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Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything Kindle Edition
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About the Author
“Much more than simply an overview of radioactive suppositories and mummy powder, Quackery is a thrilling dive into the human desire to live, to thrive, and the incredible power of belief. Delightful, disturbing, and delightfully disturbing, Quackery shares fascinating medical tales from throughout the ages, including the age we live in. It astonishes with the history of what patients once did in the name of ‘health’ and makes you wonder what we will one day look back on with equal shock.”
—Dylan Thuras, coauthor of Atlas Obscura
“Fascinating, fun, and occasionally infuriating. . . . a cautionary tale that should resonate even today—a reminder that when it comes to health care, being an informed consumer may indeed save your life.”
—Deborah Blum, author of The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz-Age New York
“Quackery brilliantly educates and entertains through the errors of doctors and scientists of the past. An entertaining read that will shock you and change how you view the health claims on products that we see daily.”
—David B. Agus, MD, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller The End of Illness and Professor of Medicine and Engineering, University of Southern California
“A bubbling elixir of the comically useless, the wildly hyped, and the just plain weird in would-be cures through history. Peel away those quaint old patent medicine labels and add some modern buzzwords, and marvel at how much has (and yet hasn’t really) changed.”
—Paul Collins, author of The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City and Sparked the Tabloid Wars
“Next time someone reminisces to you about the good old days, remind them how people used to wash their faces with arsenic, rub on radium liniment, and give each other tobacco smoke enemas. This compulsively readable compendium is a great reminder that medicine in the old days was often worse than the disease—and that there’s always reason to be wary of ‘miracle cures.’”
—Bess Lovejoy, author of Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses
“Entertaining and informative.” —Publishers Weekly
- Publication Date : October 17, 2017
- File Size : 23841 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 424 pages
- Publisher : Workman Publishing Company; 1st Edition (October 17, 2017)
- ASIN : B06XDX2X15
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #56,198 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Finally, I wish there were more references. I realize this is not a textbook but some documentation might be nice.
It is, however, an excellent light read for anyone curious about medical history or fascinated by patients desperate for a cure and the remarkable number of evil people willing to prey on them.
My favorite aspect of this book was the wonderful writing that made the science and stories accessible to all readers. It often read more conversationally with a heavy dose of sarcasm and terrible puns. Concepts were often clarified with historical pictures and figures with fantastic captions. You'll find yourself chuckling while reading about amputations. It was truly a treat. However, I often found myself wanting more information than the short stories provided and I feel like references were lacking.
If you have any interest in medical history, this book is a fantastic starting point. Kang and Pederson seamlessly weave medicine, history, and psychology into an entertaining and intriguing narrative that is sure to spur you to try to learn more. It's also so important to know what occurred in the past to understand how amazing our leaps and strides in medicine and science have been in the last couple hundred years. No more helter skelter humors or wandering uteruses around here!
Ironically, one humorous thought did run through my Trekkie head occasionally. As the authors talked about what is done today, I would sometimes hear the voice DeFirest Kelly (the original Dr. McCoy) talking about late 20th century medical techniques and referring to them as “medievalism.”
Top reviews from other countries
I was deeply disappointed that the number one quackery still in service today - homeopathy - gets not even a mention despite it also having historical roots and a huge modern following. Other popular quackeries like iridology and phrenology get none, either; reflexology gets a single line. I would have preferred a book that included more modern practices including acupuncture, naturopathy and chiropractic codswallop.