Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything

Version: Unabridged
Author: Lydia Kang , Nate Pedersen
Narrator: Hillary Huber
Genres: Business & Economics, History
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Published In: June 2018
# of Units: 8 CDs
Length: 10 hours, 32 minutes
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What won't we try in our quest for perfect health, beauty, and the fountain of youth?

Well, just imagine a time when doctors prescribed morphine for crying infants. When liquefied gold was touted as immortality in a glass. And when strychnine-yes, that strychnine, the one used in rat poison-was dosed like Viagra.

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. This book seamlessly combines macabre humor with science and storytelling to reveal an important and disturbing side of the ever-evolving field of medicine.

Author Details

Author Details

Kang, Lydia

Lydia Kang is a physician and author of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. She was born in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine. She completed her residency and chief residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City and currently lives in the midwest, where she continues to practice internal medicine.

Pedersen, Nate

Nate Pedersen is a librarian, historian, and writer in Oregon. He is a Community Librarian with Deschutes Public Library and serves on the Board of Directors for the Deschutes County Historical Society & Museum. His journalism has appeared in the Art of Manliness, the Guardian, Trail Runner and The Believer.