Quackery
Discover 67 shocking-but-true medical misfires that run the gamut from bizarre to deadly. Like when doctors prescribed morphine for crying infants. When snorting skull moss was a cure for a bloody nose. When consuming mail-order tapeworms was a latter-day fad diet. Or when snake oil salesmen peddled strychnine (used in rat poison) as an aphrodisiac in the '60s. Seamlessly combining macabre humor with hard science and compelling storytelling, Quackery is a visually rich and information-packed exploration of history's most outlandish cures, experiments, and scams.A humorous book that delves into some of the wacky but true ways that humans have looked to cure their ills. Leeches, mercury, strychnine, and lobotomies are a few of the topics that explore what lengths society has gone in the search for health.

Quackery Details

TitleQuackery
Author
ReleaseOct 17th, 2017
PublisherWorkman Publishing Company
ISBN-139780761189817
Rating
GenreNonfiction, History, Science, Medical

Quackery Review

  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Regardless of the less than ideal state of the world today, this is one of those books that at least medically, make one grateful that we were born in today's medical world. This book is incredibly comprehensive and we'll researched. I know most of us have heard of the use of leeches, cold water cures, opium, electro shock therapy and the use of these have made us shudder with the knowledge we have now.Some of the things in this book I had never heard before. Such as the use of skulls and br 3.5 Regardless of the less than ideal state of the world today, this is one of those books that at least medically, make one grateful that we were born in today's medical world. This book is incredibly comprehensive and we'll researched. I know most of us have heard of the use of leeches, cold water cures, opium, electro shock therapy and the use of these have made us shudder with the knowledge we have now.Some of the things in this book I had never heard before. Such as the use of skulls and brain parts of the dead to cure epilepsy, and mummy infused poultices to cure many different ailments. Mercury infusions for syphilis, oil from human fat for pain and also as a cancer treatment. There is so much in this book, even past sex toys and animal derived cures. Nasty, nasty! The background of these things, how they came to be, how they were packaged and sold is part of this thorough book. One thing though that bothered me when it seemed to be overdone is the authors pithy comments, which in the beginning seemed amusing, but began to wear. How did people survive some of these things? Well of course many didn't, but those that did were amazingly lucky or smart enough to stop taking these things when they seemed to be doing more harm. Probably like many of us did in the world before safe playground equipment, seatbelts and bike helmets.ARC from Netgalley.
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  • Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
    January 1, 1970
    Most of us dread a trip to the doctor's office. I know I do! But have you ever thought how nice it actually is to go to one and, well, not have to fear heavy metal poisoning? Or... not have to lose a pint of blood to purge you?Yeah, when I think about it, it's definitely good that the 21st century is the way it is, even if our medical systems are not perfect (I hear you.) But medicine hasn't always been like it is today. And this book will tell you how it was before it was like it is today. I l Most of us dread a trip to the doctor's office. I know I do! But have you ever thought how nice it actually is to go to one and, well, not have to fear heavy metal poisoning? Or... not have to lose a pint of blood to purge you?Yeah, when I think about it, it's definitely good that the 21st century is the way it is, even if our medical systems are not perfect (I hear you.) But medicine hasn't always been like it is today. And this book will tell you how it was before it was like it is today. I love receiving ARCs, but the saddest bit about having this one was that it was electronic, and I longed for nothing more than to actually have a beautiful print copy on my coffee table, to be able to flick through it and read up on the hilarious/ scary/ icky medicinal history whenever I wanted to. This is just one of those books you don't read in one sitting – it's one of the books you find on your grandpa's shelf when you're visiting, when you're little, and you peer into the world it tells you about little bit little, bit by bit, because you're too afraid to peek for too long, but too curious to let it go, and too worried you'll run out of the book if you read it properly. Quackery is organized like one of those trivia books – it doesn't follow a particular storyline, but is focused on the different types of quackery that's been attempted to sell and successfully sold to people in the history of the known world. Examples follow: - Antimony puke chalices - Radium jockstraps - Arsenic wallpapers - Strychnine potency drugs - Cocaine toothache drops for kids - And let's not forget the famous snake oilYou'd be surprised at all of the disgusting, weird and utterly stupid things people have done throughout history to cure their ails. I am simply unable to tell you the extent of it, and I feel like I don't have to – that's what this book is for. It's creepy, it's colorful, it's got great graphics, it's got amazing trivia . What's more, it's not some boring history book either! It's written in a very engaging and witty style, so you will never be bored. I do recommend it to everyone, even to the squeamish (that's me!) There might be a few chapters you skip because of this, but if you're as curious as I am – you will definitely enjoy it.I thank Lydia Kang, Nate Pedersen and Workman Publishing Company for giving me a free copy of this book in exchange to my honest opinion.Read Post On My Blog | My Bookstagram | Bookish Twitter
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  • OutlawPoet
    January 1, 1970
    Cocaine, Beaver Testicles, and the Healing Power of Man GreaseQuackery, by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen, is a delightfully gruesome compendium of some of the worst medical techniques and beliefs in human history. Whether it’s the horrors of old surgical techniques or the best ways to eat a Ginger (not eat ginger… I mean eat ‘a Ginger’) for your optimum health, you’ll find it in this book.The book is funny, informative, and fascinatingly grotesque. And it’s a wonder the human race survived our do Cocaine, Beaver Testicles, and the Healing Power of Man GreaseQuackery, by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen, is a delightfully gruesome compendium of some of the worst medical techniques and beliefs in human history. Whether it’s the horrors of old surgical techniques or the best ways to eat a Ginger (not eat ginger… I mean eat ‘a Ginger’) for your optimum health, you’ll find it in this book.The book is funny, informative, and fascinatingly grotesque. And it’s a wonder the human race survived our doctors!Learn the surprising history of heroin, a shockingly modern use for strychnine (I had no idea people do that!), and delve into the glory of enemas – did you know they even make good wedding presents?The book also contains wonderful photos and illustrations that manage to be both nostalgic and slightly horrifying all at once.A wonderfully dark and informative book!*ARC Provided via Net Galley
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  • Barb
    January 1, 1970
    While reading this book, I had to keep reminding myself that the practices and methods discussed weren't just a product of the authors' imaginations but were actual "treatments" once thought to cure problems ranging from babies who wouldn't stop crying to parasitic infections. Opium to treat vision problems? Strychnine as an aphrodisiac? Mercury to soothe babies' teething pain? "Man grease" to cure gout? They're all here … and a lot more that will leave most readers shaking their heads. Thank yo While reading this book, I had to keep reminding myself that the practices and methods discussed weren't just a product of the authors' imaginations but were actual "treatments" once thought to cure problems ranging from babies who wouldn't stop crying to parasitic infections. Opium to treat vision problems? Strychnine as an aphrodisiac? Mercury to soothe babies' teething pain? "Man grease" to cure gout? They're all here … and a lot more that will leave most readers shaking their heads. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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  • Bernard O'Leary
    January 1, 1970
    Quackery keeps trying to hold the reader's attention by making lame dad jokes about the subject matter. I'm not sure if the chapter on enemas includes a line like "talk about a pain in the butt!" but that's basically the level of joke we're talking about here. It doesn't actually need to do this, because it's a fascinating and well-researched journey through the batshit history of medicine. In fact, there's an argument to be made that the medicine we know (antibiotics, sterilisation, vaccines, w Quackery keeps trying to hold the reader's attention by making lame dad jokes about the subject matter. I'm not sure if the chapter on enemas includes a line like "talk about a pain in the butt!" but that's basically the level of joke we're talking about here. It doesn't actually need to do this, because it's a fascinating and well-researched journey through the batshit history of medicine. In fact, there's an argument to be made that the medicine we know (antibiotics, sterilisation, vaccines, what have you) is the true alternative medicine, because 99% of medical innovations over history have been crazy, fraudulent, unscientific and quite likely to kill or maim the patient. Almost everything that the human race has ever discovered, from strychnine to electricity, has at some point been swallowed or shoved up people's bums in an attempt to cure common ailments. History has been shaped by leaders who were out of their minds with mercury poisoning, or suffering the ill-effects of the whatever panacea was popular at the time. Kang rattles through them all at a breakneck pace simply because there are so many daft ideas to explore, and you're left wondering how the human race didn't simply kill itself over time, like a toddler with a bottle of bleach. My personal favourite story is from the chapter about anthropophagic medicine (i.e. cannibalism). Kang tells it like this:"Then there was the possibility of candied humans. The legend of "honeyed man," or mellified man, comes from the text of a 16th century Chinese pharmacologist named Li Shizhen. He wrote of a rumor that there was an Arabian practice of mummifying a human with honey. Apparently the body had to come voluntarily from an elderly person. Without the self-sacrifice, the medicine would be useless. The volunteer would eat nothing but honey for days and days, until their excrement became honey, their sweat became honey, and they urinated honey (totally not possible, but hey, it's a legend). And then after dying (as one would eventually), the body would be entombed in a coffin filled with honey. The sticky substance is actually a fantastic anti-bacterial and preservative, and has been used for medicinal purposes in cultures for ages. So perhaps combining both corpse and honey made some sort of morbid confectionary sense. After exactly 100 years, the embalmed body would then be consumed, piece by sweet piece. Who wouldn't want a piece of candied man? Actually, don't answer that. "It's such a great story but — and perhaps this is just my personal taste — I think it'd be even better if told without the jokey, matey banter. Still, a fun book.
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  • ☙ percy ❧
    January 1, 1970
    THIS IS THE MOST ME BOOK EVER AND I NEED IT
  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating read and I highlighted quite a bit in the ebook; however, the constant joking really put me off. There was some extraordinary information about medical practices and the overall wacky treatments that have done throughout history-and then there would be a lame "dad joke". I just felt none of that was needed as it was such an awesome read and the information and pictures were enough to hold my intrigue. Learned quite a bit from this one. Entertaining and informative!I received a copy o Fascinating read and I highlighted quite a bit in the ebook; however, the constant joking really put me off. There was some extraordinary information about medical practices and the overall wacky treatments that have done throughout history-and then there would be a lame "dad joke". I just felt none of that was needed as it was such an awesome read and the information and pictures were enough to hold my intrigue. Learned quite a bit from this one. Entertaining and informative!I received a copy of this book through Netgalley for an honest opinion. I would like to thank Lydia Kang; Nate Pedersen and Workman Publishing Company for the opportunity to read and review this wonderful book.
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  • Ceillie
    January 1, 1970
    Read my full review here!
  • Marjolein
    January 1, 1970
    Full review to come!
  • Jess
    January 1, 1970
    **I received an advanced reader’s copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**With Quackery, Kang and Pedersen have created an entertaining and engaging tour of medical treatment mishaps and broken promises, mostly produced by pseudo doctors/medical professionals. While not an exhaustive look at every type of treatment available to consumers, the authors present some of the more astonishing and readily available treatments in history, ranging from treatments invol **I received an advanced reader’s copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**With Quackery, Kang and Pedersen have created an entertaining and engaging tour of medical treatment mishaps and broken promises, mostly produced by pseudo doctors/medical professionals. While not an exhaustive look at every type of treatment available to consumers, the authors present some of the more astonishing and readily available treatments in history, ranging from treatments involving mercury and opium, to radiotherapies and hydrotherapies. Variations of a few of these treatments are in existence today. Overall, this book serves as a nice introduction to “quack” medical practices of the past (and the present). I did find the humor a bit distracting at times, though I did laugh out loud in parts. The illustrations add to the authors’ descriptions of elixirs and mechanisms used for treatments. A good, quick read for anyone with any interest in medical practices.
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  • Storyheart
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. Amusing and informative read. Thank you to Goodreads and the publisher for the ARC.
  • Jennie
    January 1, 1970
    An amusing collection of - just what the title says - Worst Ways to Cure. This book was a very humorous look at some of the extreme measures that people have put themselves through all in the name of being healthy. It reminded me that medicine is a practice - and I really hope someday practice makes perfect. In the meantime I am grateful for how far we have come. The author sprinkles in some interesting side facts that add to the readability of the book.
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  • Jo
    January 1, 1970
    This is absolutely one of the most interesting nonfictional books I’ve ever read. 5/5 –Wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone and everyone with a remote interest in medicine and drugs. I loved how easy it was to read. I’ve taken plenty of science classes, especially dealing with medicine and healthcare, but this book is truly easy to follow for anyone regardless science background. There are interesting pictures, clever puns, and gruesome descriptions!This is totally something I would buy to le This is absolutely one of the most interesting nonfictional books I’ve ever read. 5/5 –Wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone and everyone with a remote interest in medicine and drugs. I loved how easy it was to read. I’ve taken plenty of science classes, especially dealing with medicine and healthcare, but this book is truly easy to follow for anyone regardless science background. There are interesting pictures, clever puns, and gruesome descriptions!This is totally something I would buy to leave on my coffee table for visitors to peruse. Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Dawn
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley.Some interesting tidbits about the history of questionable medical treatments. The content of this book is likely to appeal to fans of Mary Roach. The biggest drawback is the exceedingly jokey tone of the author. While there are some truly funny comments, it gets to be way to much with every other comment apparently being intended as a zinger. Also, if you have virgin ears beware that this book is sprinkled with liberal profanity throughout whic I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley.Some interesting tidbits about the history of questionable medical treatments. The content of this book is likely to appeal to fans of Mary Roach. The biggest drawback is the exceedingly jokey tone of the author. While there are some truly funny comments, it gets to be way to much with every other comment apparently being intended as a zinger. Also, if you have virgin ears beware that this book is sprinkled with liberal profanity throughout which is really unnecessary and takes away from the content. Overall, an interesting but deeply flawed work. I have no interest in reading anything further from this author. Cannot recommend.
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  • Celia
    January 1, 1970
    The problem I had with this book is that it deals with both health scams and the errors of the legitimate medical establishment and treats them same way. This was a major problem in the first two sections of the book. The later sections of the book improve. The later parts of the book describes the history of certain treatments(i.e. hypnosis, anesthesia). The book becomes kinder towards the incomplete knowledge of medicine at the time(i.e. the good side of using leaches). It also has stories of The problem I had with this book is that it deals with both health scams and the errors of the legitimate medical establishment and treats them same way. This was a major problem in the first two sections of the book. The later sections of the book improve. The later parts of the book describes the history of certain treatments(i.e. hypnosis, anesthesia). The book becomes kinder towards the incomplete knowledge of medicine at the time(i.e. the good side of using leaches). It also has stories of pure medical fraud such as knowingly worthless medical devices that were sold. However, the book begins by criticizing some establishment medical practices of the time. The book starts off with the example of Dr. Benjamin Rush who in late eighteenth century was considered a reputable physician. The book states in a tongue and cheek sort of way that this physician believed in the use of mercury and blood letting which was an accepted practice at the time. However, Dr. Rush also did some good things in medicine; he advocated for the humane treatment of psychiatric patients and advocated for improvements in the Philadelphia water and sanitation which helped end an epidemic. I felt doctors like Dr. Rush deserved better treatment than the book provides. These doctors weren’t “quacks” . They did the best they could do with the limited and often incorrect medical knowledge of the time. Furthermore, probably at the time of Dr. Rush there was much deception in the practice of medicine. There were no “truth in advertising” laws” or legal standards about who could call themselves a doctor. There were probably many totally fake doctors practicing and probably knowingly false medications sold.After the first two sections, the book improves. It contains some information about the history of some medical treatments. It becomes more respectful towards legitimate doctors and the limitations of medicine at the time. The book chronicles how certain treatments evolved. In addition, the book gives examples of medical fraud. The books describes some worthless medical devices as the Dynamizer. I learned how term it is like”snake oil”(meaning fake) got started.Thus, the second part of the book had some interesting anecdotes about the history of medicine which many readers may find interesting.However, to get to the second part, I had to overcome my indignation that wrong but legitimate medical practices were being lumped together with practices, even at the time were being used, were considered fraudulent. The book would have been much better if it dealt either with fraudulent medical practices or errors of the medical establishment rather than combining these two aspects of medicine together under the category of bad medicine.I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    Written by a medical doctor (Kang) and a freelance journalist (Pedersen), this book is part medical history, part cautionary tale, and part stand up comic’s routine. As the title suggests, the main focus is on the various nostrums, panaceas, and procedures that certain unscrupulous individuals have foisted on a credulous public over the centuries. These charlatans, also known as quacksalvers, or simply “quacks,” at best sold worthless remedies. At worst, their potions were laced with toxic chemi Written by a medical doctor (Kang) and a freelance journalist (Pedersen), this book is part medical history, part cautionary tale, and part stand up comic’s routine. As the title suggests, the main focus is on the various nostrums, panaceas, and procedures that certain unscrupulous individuals have foisted on a credulous public over the centuries. These charlatans, also known as quacksalvers, or simply “quacks,” at best sold worthless remedies. At worst, their potions were laced with toxic chemicals that killed, rather than cured, the ill and desperate. Taking a topical approach, the authors divide their book into five sections, each one covering a range of questionable approaches to the treatment of human maladies. Within each section, a single chapter is devoted to a specific drug, substance, instrument, or what have you. Therefore, the section on “Elements” contains separate discussions on the uses and abuses of Mercury, Antimony, Arsenic, Gold, and Radium & Radon. Succeeding sections are entitled “Plants & Soil” (Example: tobacco), “Tools” (bloodletting), “Animals” (leeches), and “Mysterious Powers” (electricity). The text is further enlivened with sidebar articles, historic photographs and other illustrations of items discussed and end-of-chapter “Hall of Shame” synopses of various medical fads, such as weight loss schemes. What is to be admired with this text is the underlying message of caveat emptor, the ancient Roman saying that in plain English means, “let the buyer beware.” A little critical thinking goes a long way towards avoiding dangerous rip-offs. There is also much interesting historical medical trivia, such as the theory of the four humors, one of which was blood. It was long thought that an imbalance of any one was the cause of disease, hence bloodletting, or the opening of a vein, to release an “overabundance” of that substance, and thus to restore equilibrium and a state of health. The problem, of course, is that such theories were based on conjecture, rather than sound medical reasoning or, indeed, any kind of clinical evidence. This leads to a not so admirable feature regarding this tome, namely, painting the disreputable and greedy along with the caring and legitimate with the same black brush. There is a huge difference between ignorance and deceit. At least some of the practitioners that the authors take to task, such as Paracelsus, a Sixteenth Century alchemist, and Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, did not have the benefit of an education at a modern day medical school. These men did the best they could with the meager tools and knowledge at their disposal. Review by Michael F. Bemis
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  • Tonstant Weader
    January 1, 1970
    Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything is a historical overview of the many wrongheaded ways humans have sought to cure themselves of what ails them. We’re all familiar with the more commonly known quackery, the bloodletting, the leeches, and the laudanum. This book goes far deeper than that into some truly esoteric treatments.Full of factoids and historical details and overflowing with full-color photos that depict the many advertisement and historical implements, this i Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything is a historical overview of the many wrongheaded ways humans have sought to cure themselves of what ails them. We’re all familiar with the more commonly known quackery, the bloodletting, the leeches, and the laudanum. This book goes far deeper than that into some truly esoteric treatments.Full of factoids and historical details and overflowing with full-color photos that depict the many advertisement and historical implements, this is a visually-oriented collection of treatments. Among one of my favorites was the tobacco smoke enema used to resuscitate drowning victims – preferred over the vulgarity of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. This dubious intervention failed frequently which is why “blowing smoke up your ass” refers to a false kind of flattery.Sometimes the quackery did work on one thing–but what made it quackery was the idea that then it worked for everything. An enema clears your constipation, so why not have it treat cancer, too? The rationale for why some of these “cures” were supposed to work is sometimes more fascinating than the bizarre treatments themselves. However, before we start feeling superior to these credulous patients of the past, it might be chastening to note in 2007 Americans spent $3 billion on homeopathy–the quackiest of quackery. For modern quackery, just watch Real Housewives of Anywhere or any episode of Dr. Oz.Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything is an enjoyable overview of pseudoscience and quackery from the past. There are illustrations on half or more of the pages depicting the implements, the ads, and the treatments from the past. It is well-organized and full of fascinating information with which I have been inundating friends over the last few weeks. Did you know…?I wish they had been bolder in calling out today’s quackery. They do mention colonics, but there is so much junk medicine today I think mocking the junk medicine of the past is a bit hypocritical. We are just as credulous. The writers strive for a breezy, light tone full of humor, but sometimes the humor is just one groaner after another. I would rather they not try to funny when their humor is so flat. I still liked the book, but in spite of the humor, not because of it.Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything will be released on October 17th. I received an advance copy from the publisher through a drawing on Shelf Awareness.https://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpre...
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Before the review, an important note on my rating system. Two stars from me does not mean that the book was bad. It means, that the book is actually good, it's just something that I can't see myself reading again just because of my personal preferences.This book was highly entertaining and gory at the same time. As I was reading it, I kept thinking how glad I was to be alive during a time when we know procedures used in the past are actually harmful. I wonder how many of the things we done in he Before the review, an important note on my rating system. Two stars from me does not mean that the book was bad. It means, that the book is actually good, it's just something that I can't see myself reading again just because of my personal preferences.This book was highly entertaining and gory at the same time. As I was reading it, I kept thinking how glad I was to be alive during a time when we know procedures used in the past are actually harmful. I wonder how many of the things we done in health care now will be considered quackery in a few hundred years. On the bright side, at least I've never had to deal with the procedures mentioned in this book. I enjoyed the book, pulling faces all the way through, but I think for me personally, it's not something I would read again. Now that I have learned the information, I'm good. People that are into medicine, history, or science in general would like this book. I really think anyone would like this book, but it takes someone with a strong interest in this kind of information to decided to read it over and over. There are some cheesy jokes throughout that broke up some of the gross bits. There are also little thoughts throughout that echoed what I was thinking while reading those sections. The author knows that some of the procedures done in olden days is really off the wall, and the notes make me feel like I'm not alone in my thought process. The pictures were a huge help in really understanding what the processes were. When you read that they used a certain instrument that is not used today, it's hard to picture how everything worked. The images clarified those questions. I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review.Author: Lydia KangPublisher: Workman Publishing CompanyPublication Date: 17 Oct 2017
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  • Jan
    January 1, 1970
    I got this book from the publisher via Netgalley shortly after reading another horrific nonfiction book on radium poisoning, so reading this one took longer than it should have. Especially as this one is designed to be a reality check, not inflame the reader to anger. In this very well researched compendium of the idiocy of mankind through the ages, the varied negative results of attempts to cure man's ills is balanced with bad puns and snarky asides. That is a good thing, in my opinion. From Ro I got this book from the publisher via Netgalley shortly after reading another horrific nonfiction book on radium poisoning, so reading this one took longer than it should have. Especially as this one is designed to be a reality check, not inflame the reader to anger. In this very well researched compendium of the idiocy of mankind through the ages, the varied negative results of attempts to cure man's ills is balanced with bad puns and snarky asides. That is a good thing, in my opinion. From Roman and Egyptian times until now, treatment practices have both remained similar (especially in the snake oil sense) and built upon earlier trials and errors. There are multiple examples of misguided usage under each heading and subheading. Did you know that "mad as a hatter" refers to mercury poisoning due to the process of making a hat? What about the well known business of selling radium toothpaste? And then there are all those treatments for "wandering womb". The various herbals included strychnine and the opiates. The one thing that was a positive in the 1860s was that medical opiate use most likely reduced the mortality from cholera and dysentery. I certainly did not know of the lingering misuse of strychnine in athletics. And here I thought it was only popular in murder mysteries! Then it moves along to the ever popular use of tools for bloodletting. This practice continued far longer than sense would indicate, being used even for battle wounds! It was also the real cause of death for George Washington, not the pneumonia! Bloodletting using leeches was also used in cases of stroke. Todays medical knowledge and pharmaceuticals use a bio similar product to dissolve clots in occlusive strokes. Another resurrected treatment is the use of (now sterile) maggots to remove dead tissues from wounds. And how could the practice of Trephining be ignored? The drilling of a hole in the skull to relieve pressure or stop seizures or cure madness has been going on since before the Aztecs. Not a good thing before sterile technique, but archeology has proved that some did live afterwards. We do continue to be a gullible species, but with the advent of some of the anti psychotic meds, at least we have stopped doing lobotomy. But there has been a resurrection of the use of electroshock therapy in some areas. There's a lot more in this book, but the authors (and me, too) hope that the readers will learn not only history from this book, but to use more uncommon sense when faced with todays nostrums and panaceas (don't get me started on drug advertising! ).This book is well worth the money, and the illustrations and references were very interesting (even in PDF format).Disclaimer. In addition to being a history geek, I have been a registered nurse for more years than I care to admit.https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/...
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  • Ionia
    January 1, 1970
    I think this book works well to remind us what not to do, for example, almost anything that our ancestors did when it came to medicine and healing. While there are plenty of gross out moments in this book, it also provides a solid history on different techniques used in bygone ages for healing of various illnesses and ailments, and the resulting issues that were born from those treatments. It is frightening to see what we thought was a good idea many years ago and makes me wonder what we will be I think this book works well to remind us what not to do, for example, almost anything that our ancestors did when it came to medicine and healing. While there are plenty of gross out moments in this book, it also provides a solid history on different techniques used in bygone ages for healing of various illnesses and ailments, and the resulting issues that were born from those treatments. It is frightening to see what we thought was a good idea many years ago and makes me wonder what we will be saying in the future about some of the treatments we use now. Medical science has certainly advanced--thank goodness. This book made me laugh outright on more than one occasion. I love books that can teach you something, but that also use humour to convey their point. There are some really bad jokes included in this book, but they lightened the mood and left me smiling. I really thought this was fun and would recommend it to anyone looking to know more about the past history of wacky medical treatments. Cringe-worthy at times, but definitely interesting reading material. This review is based on a complementary copy from the publisher, provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you NetGalley for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest opinion.Quackery tells the story of past efforts to heal and how some of these attempts killed instead of healing. Told in a semi humorous way, it is easy to read and yet horrifying at times when we realize we have had some of these treatments ourselves.How many of us were treated to a dose of ipecac as children? How many of us would do so now? Were we really being poisoned? How many of us played with mercury when we Thank you NetGalley for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest opinion.Quackery tells the story of past efforts to heal and how some of these attempts killed instead of healing. Told in a semi humorous way, it is easy to read and yet horrifying at times when we realize we have had some of these treatments ourselves.How many of us were treated to a dose of ipecac as children? How many of us would do so now? Were we really being poisoned? How many of us played with mercury when we were young? Watching the rolling balls kept us occupied in science class and when a thermometer broke. Yes, we were told not to touch it, but how many of us listened? Radiation is a wonder when used correctly, but deadly if not. Just ask Marie Curie- if you could. How lucky are we now to be cured by it, yet we need to be protected from it, too.These are just a few examples of what Quackery is all about. Humorous yes, but a good reminder of how far we have come and how far yet to go. The subtitle: A brief history of the worst ways to cure everything says it all. Anyone with an interest in googling how to heal any problem you have would enjoy reading this first. The laughs alone will make you feel better.
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  • Lindsay S
    January 1, 1970
    Intriguing and Thought Provoking. 5 Stars! I am fascinated by the history of medicine. I've never quite found a book that struck a balance between relating to the reader as a lay person but also entrusting they had the intelligence to grasp the material. Not only did Ms. Kang and Mr. Pedersen achieve this, they did so with humor and detail. I also truly appreciated the historical context and antidotes to each treatment/element covered. This combined with the photography, graphic design and layou Intriguing and Thought Provoking. 5 Stars! I am fascinated by the history of medicine. I've never quite found a book that struck a balance between relating to the reader as a lay person but also entrusting they had the intelligence to grasp the material. Not only did Ms. Kang and Mr. Pedersen achieve this, they did so with humor and detail. I also truly appreciated the historical context and antidotes to each treatment/element covered. This combined with the photography, graphic design and layout of the the book made for a fascinating and informative read. Ms. Kang and Mr. Pedersen know their audience. I often felt as if they knew as readers we would be interested in what most would consider minute or obscure details. These details, its context and historical examples of peddlers, doctors and patients make this a thorough romp through medical science mishaps and misconceptions. These elements combined give magic to the book. While I read it straight through, I could easily see this beautifully designed book adorning a prominent place on a book shelf or coffee table for one to peruse a topic of interest. I only wish I could get my hands on a hard copy now! I received an advanced reader copy (ARC) from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Sunshine
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARE of this book on NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions/thoughts expressed are my own.The information in this one is mind-blowing. It took quite a long time (for me) to finish this one, but it is probably the most quoted book I have read so far, maybe ever. I shared many of the facts and stories with many different friends in casual conversations because I found this entire tome completely fascinating (and the best way to know you tr I received an ARE of this book on NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions/thoughts expressed are my own.The information in this one is mind-blowing. It took quite a long time (for me) to finish this one, but it is probably the most quoted book I have read so far, maybe ever. I shared many of the facts and stories with many different friends in casual conversations because I found this entire tome completely fascinating (and the best way to know you truly have a concept/idea down is to teach it to others).The contents page at the beginning let you know what the categories are and they are divided into five main sections. Elements, Plants & Soil, Tools, Animals, and finally Mysterious Powers.The depth of research that went into this is impressive, but so is the light heartedness of the authors commentary scattered throughout.Now to the glaring thing that did not work in this. Normally I don't comment much on the inside style of a book. I will write about truly stunning and artistic cover art and in children's illustrated books will reference the art sometimes, but rarely do I comment on the style itself.I read this one on my phone app (pocketbook) since the format was not set for kindle. This happens occasionally, especially with books that feature a lot of illustrations like this did.The problem is the coloring on the pages. The sides have this distracting lime green and the main sections have print on blue, green, and red(!) background pages that are hard on the eyes. This was the only drawback of the entire work, but it was a huge one in my opinion. I understand the trying to be an eye catcher element for people who may be browsing this in a bookstore and pick it up. Bright colors draw people in. It may not keep them there...The facts presented show as a species how we have grown over the years and where the origins of many "quack" ideas stemmed from. I was hooked on this.Quackery is information heavy and I think books of this nature tend to be better served for the reader in small chunks. Learning new ideas and letting them sink in takes time, and that time I feel was well spent. I have all sorts of new information/knowledge that I didn't have prior to reading this (and things I did know were further reinforced).I would highly recommend this for anyone that enjoys learning, that wants to know more about strange historical beginnings of modern medicine today, and who wants to be able to bring up random facts in conversation. It's a winner. Just maybe hold your hands over the sides to block that lime green color and you should be fine.Read about other books I have reviewed here:BlogI referenced this work on my channel on 4/12:YouTube
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  • Kirsty
    January 1, 1970
    I love easy-to-read books about medical history, and this perfectly fulfilled that. It's one of those books that make you try to fit fascinating facts into every conversation you have for the next week. My wife was watching TV beside me as I was reading and I kept stopping to tell her all about the symptoms of mad hatter's disease, where the phrase "blue bloods" comes from, the purpose of tobacco smoke enemas, and what the first penis rings were made of (don't read that part while you're eating) I love easy-to-read books about medical history, and this perfectly fulfilled that. It's one of those books that make you try to fit fascinating facts into every conversation you have for the next week. My wife was watching TV beside me as I was reading and I kept stopping to tell her all about the symptoms of mad hatter's disease, where the phrase "blue bloods" comes from, the purpose of tobacco smoke enemas, and what the first penis rings were made of (don't read that part while you're eating). Oh, and I found a new obsession: cumbersome names for Victorian medical institutions, my favourites from this book being The Pneumatic Institution for Relieving Diseases by Medical Airs and The Institution for Affording Immediate Relief to Persons Apparently Dead From Drowning.The authors' tone is quite light and jokey, which I liked, but it might irritate if you're looking for a more serious book of medical history. But if you want some interesting facts (and to think twice when you see the new wonder cure-all – looking at you, clean eating/detoxing/juicing/fasting) then this is great.
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  • The Caffeinated Scribbler
    January 1, 1970
    It's amazing what the human race has done in the name of science. Remember when doctors gave crying kids morphine? Or how we found out about mercury poisoning? Quackery by Lydia Kang has it all. The novel mixes dark humor with hard science. It's an exploration of history's craziest cures, experiments, and scams.This book was quirky (sometimes a bit cheesy), but a little hard to get through. The storytelling was compelling, but it wasn't engaging enough to keep me on the edge of my seat. The hum It's amazing what the human race has done in the name of science. Remember when doctors gave crying kids morphine? Or how we found out about mercury poisoning? Quackery by Lydia Kang has it all. The novel mixes dark humor with hard science. It's an exploration of history's craziest cures, experiments, and scams.This book was quirky (sometimes a bit cheesy), but a little hard to get through. The storytelling was compelling, but it wasn't engaging enough to keep me on the edge of my seat. The humor between gore was appreciated, but it was a little too forced. Also, the book was not something I would read again after learning the important tidbits. And don't get me wrong, the tidbits were interesting. The whole time I was praising the Lord I was born in a time when doctors understand how certain procedures can be harmful. Then again, who knows what present day medicine practices will be considered future quackery. People that have a love for medicine, history, science, or random facts would love this book. It just wasn't my cup of tea. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Marsha
    January 1, 1970
    Although the book both amusing and enlightening, I do think that the distinction needs to me main tween outright quackery and really bad ideas that are firmly held and believed. Although, for instance, Pres. Washington was probably killed by bloodletting, is Dr. was firmly convinced that bloodletting was the healthiest, best thing for him! And it's really difficult to realize that there are aspects of medicine that we still loan know! We are discovering that some of the treatments that we use to Although the book both amusing and enlightening, I do think that the distinction needs to me main tween outright quackery and really bad ideas that are firmly held and believed. Although, for instance, Pres. Washington was probably killed by bloodletting, is Dr. was firmly convinced that bloodletting was the healthiest, best thing for him! And it's really difficult to realize that there are aspects of medicine that we still loan know! We are discovering that some of the treatments that we use to consider ludicrous are actually useful in some situations (for instance, leeches and, yes, "bloodletting -although by a different name"…But still, some of the amazingly, incredible practices that we justified for monetary gain were positively fantastic in their bizarreness! And although it's tempting to say that people brought in on themselves, things that we currently know to be bizarre and outlandish were not seen that way 100 years ago. Which of our current practices will be seen that way a hundred years hence?But overall, it was a good book!
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    Quackery is a good (not great) look at all the crazy ways people have tried to cure themselves over the centuries. Everything from radioactive elements, to eating soil, to the king's touch. The material in the book is great, but it is really held back by the lame attempts at humour. Its not that I wanted a super serious book, its just that the jokes about Nickelback and gingers, etc. really jarred me out of the text.Dad jokes aside, I really enjoyed this tour through history's quacks and charlat Quackery is a good (not great) look at all the crazy ways people have tried to cure themselves over the centuries. Everything from radioactive elements, to eating soil, to the king's touch. The material in the book is great, but it is really held back by the lame attempts at humour. Its not that I wanted a super serious book, its just that the jokes about Nickelback and gingers, etc. really jarred me out of the text.Dad jokes aside, I really enjoyed this tour through history's quacks and charlatans. I learned that at one point there actual was a real snake oil salesman who sold snake oil. Of course, he soon decided it was easier to fake the "active" ingredient in his ointments. I also learned that Upton Sinclair believed a lot of wacky things. Thank goodness he isn't remember for his beliefs in light therapy.I'd recommend this book to anyone who has a hint of distrust for the medical establishment (it will remind you how good we really have it!), or who just loves wacky history. It is a fun read that is full of real, good history.
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  • Cherei
    January 1, 1970
    Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything is chockful of medical treatments going back ages and ages ago. There are so many quirky tales.. and they do not need to be read in any certain order. You can flip ahead to the "cure" you want to read.. and go back later and read others. It's amazing that the human race made it this far in time.. using some of these wacky ways to cure ailments!Fantastic book to put out in waiting or sitting areas! Folks love reading about others doin Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything is chockful of medical treatments going back ages and ages ago. There are so many quirky tales.. and they do not need to be read in any certain order. You can flip ahead to the "cure" you want to read.. and go back later and read others. It's amazing that the human race made it this far in time.. using some of these wacky ways to cure ailments!Fantastic book to put out in waiting or sitting areas! Folks love reading about others doing goofy things.. and Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything delivers the goods! The book also has a bazillion illustrations and pictures! I saw quite a few that I'd love to be able to purchase prints and hang them on the walls! From start to finish.. this book is an absolute delight! One that will become well worn.. as many will be drawn to flipping through and reading a tidbit here and there as they wait.
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  • Alan D.D.
    January 1, 1970
    FULL REVIEW TO BE PUBLISHEDI’ve always been interested in mysteries, medical investigations, and even murders cases. If they come with a strange, weird twist, even better. While I was searching for a next interesting reading, I saw “Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything,” by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen. What a good choice I did by taking it.Despite the fact that it is a book about medical matters, “Quackery” doesn’t use a complicated language or complex terms. All the d FULL REVIEW TO BE PUBLISHEDI’ve always been interested in mysteries, medical investigations, and even murders cases. If they come with a strange, weird twist, even better. While I was searching for a next interesting reading, I saw “Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything,” by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen. What a good choice I did by taking it.Despite the fact that it is a book about medical matters, “Quackery” doesn’t use a complicated language or complex terms. All the descriptions are crystal clear so those who only read the medical recipes can even memorize those parts that impress them the most; I certainly did and will be waiting for the best time to traumatize some of my friends.Many, many sincere thanks to the publisher for providing this ARC, I’m not an avid reader of non-fiction publications, but I’m glad I could discover Kang and Pedersen’s work. It’s sweet to see juicy books like this still in the market.
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  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    (This was an ARC downloaded from netgalley.com and the formatting, photo captions, and inset stories still needed work.)3.5 stars. This collection of ineffective, odd, dangerous, and downright INSANE medical "treatments" was interesting and somewhat humorous. I knew about some of these ideas but this book covers such a vast array of quackery that I learned about a number of new "cures" that I'd never heard of before. I wasn't entirely in love with the ultra-chatty writing style; there were some (This was an ARC downloaded from netgalley.com and the formatting, photo captions, and inset stories still needed work.)3.5 stars. This collection of ineffective, odd, dangerous, and downright INSANE medical "treatments" was interesting and somewhat humorous. I knew about some of these ideas but this book covers such a vast array of quackery that I learned about a number of new "cures" that I'd never heard of before. I wasn't entirely in love with the ultra-chatty writing style; there were some pop-culture references that might not endure the test of time. But it was pretty amusing, overall.
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