A fascinating guide to the most astonishing, weirdest, and
sometimes outright dangerous medical practices throughout human history,
A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure
is a compelling, morbidly
humorous look at medicine’s dark side.
Written by Dr. Lydia Kang, a practicing internal medicine physician, and Nate Pedersen, a librarian and historian, QUACKERY offers 67 tales of outlandish treatments complete with vintage illustrations and photographs of everything from the equipment needed for Tobacco Smoke Enemas (used to “save” drowning victims in the River Thames) to an ad for the morphine-laced Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup for children to the origin of the vibrator for women suffering from hysteria. Seamlessly combining macabre humor with science and storytelling, each chapter reveals the odd and often disturbing side of the ever-evolving field of medicine.
Lydia Kang, MD, is a practicing internal medicine physician and author of young adult fiction and adult fiction. Her YA novels include Control, Catalyst, and The November Girl. Her adult fiction debut is titled A Beautiful Poison. Her nonfiction has been published in JAMA, the Annals of Internal Medicine, and the Journal of General Internal Medicine. She lives and practices in Omaha, Nebraska.