Strange Medicine

Strange Medicine

A Shocking History of Real Medical Practices Through the Ages

Book - 2013
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Penguin Putnam
Strange Medicine casts a gimlet eye on the practice of medicine through the ages that highlights the most dubious ideas, bizarre treatments, and biggest blunders. From bad science and oafish behavior to stomach-turning procedures that hurt more than helped, Strange Medicine presents strange but true facts and an honor roll of doctors, scientists, and dreamers who inadvertently turned the clock of medicine backward:

• The ancient Egyptians applied electric eels to cure gout.
• Medieval dentists burned candles in patients’ mouths to kill invisible worms gnawing at their teeth.
• Renaissance physicians timed surgical procedures according to the position of the stars, and instructed epileptics to collect fresh blood from the newly beheaded.
• Dr. Walter Freeman, the world’s foremost practitioner of lobotomies, practiced his craft while traveling on family camping trips, cramming the back of the station wagon with kids—and surgical tools—then hammering ice picks into the eye sockets of his patients in between hikes in the woods.

Strange Medicine is an illuminating panorama of medical history as you’ve never seen it before.

Baker & Taylor
Provides a true account of bad science, oafish behavior, and nauseating procedures, taking readers on a wild ride through medical history's dubious ideas, bizarre treatments, and biggest blunders.

& Taylor

This extraordinary true account of bad science, oafish behavior and nauseating procedures takes readers on a wild ride through medical history's dubious ideas, bizarre treatments and biggest blunders. Original.

Publisher: New York, New York : Penguin Group, [2013]
ISBN: 9780399159954
Branch Call Number: 610.9 B418s
Characteristics: viii, 213 pages ; 21 cm


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Nov 06, 2017

Whilst reading this entertaining little book I was often rolling my eyes, or scrunching them shut, or cringing and aghast, or just laughing out loud (as well as chuckling to myself). The foibles of humanity, the greed and hypocrisy of the powerful, and the gullibility of the desperate are all clearly illustrated. Best of all (for the bookish) there is a lengthy bibliography.


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