Quackery by Lydia Kang, M.D.
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
“Looking back with fascination, horror, and not a little dash of dark, knowing humor, Quackery recounts the lively, at times unbelievable, history of medical misfires and malpractices. Ranging from the merely weird to the outright dangerous, here are dozens of outlandish, morbidly hilarious “treatments”—conceived by doctors and scientists, by spiritualists and snake oil salesmen (yes, they literally tried to sell snake oil)—that were predicated on a range of cluelessness, trial and error, and straight-up scams. With vintage illustrations, photographs, and advertisements throughout, Quackery seamlessly combines macabre humor with science and storytelling to reveal an important and disturbing side of the ever-evolving field of medicine.”
Take a trip back to the days when anything goes if it doesn’t kill you first. This is a wonderful array of ghastly stories of drugs, contraptions, concoctions, and gruesomely botched procedures, all in the name of curing what ails you. This book does not have a textbook feel to the reading. The author offers her dry whit to lend you a laugh, to offer some comic relief to the sometimes intense subject matter.
I found this book to be informative, funny, and to be honest, morbid and sad. If you’re into medical history, you’ll enjoy this read. I learned a lot.