Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Marketplace of the Marvelous" and "Kill or Cure"

I realize I haven't been posting many nonfiction book reviews lately, but I have been reading them. I've been getting them as a member of Amazon Vine and, if I understand the terms correctly, I'm not allowed to post my review of the Vine books anywhere except on Amazon. I have read some interesting books, though, so I thought maybe I'd post a description of a book (or two) with a direct link to my review on Amazon.

book cover
Marketplace of the Marvelous:
The Strange Origins of Modern Medicine
by Erika Janik

ISBN-13: 978-0807022085
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press
Released: January 7, 2014

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
Despite rampant scientific innovation in nineteenth-century America, traditional medicine still subjected patients to bleeding, blistering, induced vomiting, and sweating. Many patients ran with open arms to burgeoning practices that promised new ways to cure their ills. Hydropaths offered cures using “healing waters” and tight wet-sheet wraps. Phineas Parkhurst Quimby experimented with magnets, while Daniel David Palmer reportedly restored a man’s hearing by knocking on his vertebrae. Lorenzo and Lydia Fowler used their fingers to “read” their clients’ heads. Samuel Thomson introduced a range of herbal remedies for a vast array of woes.

Bizarre as these methods may seem, many are the precursors of today’s notions of healthy living. We have the nineteenth-century practice of “medical gymnastics” to thank for today’s emphasis on regular exercise, and hydropathy’s various water cures for the notion of regular bathing and the mantra to drink “eight glasses of water a day.” Though many of these cures were discredited by advances in medical science, a surprising number of the theories and ideas behind the quackery are staples in today’s health industry. Janik tells the colorful stories of these "quacks."

My Review: Link to my review on Amazon.

book cover
Kill or Cure
by Steve Parker

ISBN-13: 978-1465408426
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: DK Adult
Released: October 21, 2013

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
Telling the compelling stories behind mankind's never-ending quest to cure every disease, Kill or Cure uses a text-rich narrative combined with DK's beautiful visual design to trace the extraordinary history of medicine. Using panels, timelines, and thematic spreads, Kill or Cure tells the dramatic tale of medical progress.

My Review: Link to my review on Amazon.


Diane said...

Both books seem to be very interesting, and your presentation of them has caused me to add them to my 'to read' list. Thank you Debbie.

Debbie said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Diane. :)