Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang, MD and Nate Pedersen (2017)

Review by CJ

Page count:

ARC eBook



Quackery takes readers on a journey through history’s most abominable and misguided medical treatments.

From the dumb to the deadly, a wide range of poor treatments from “BCE” times to the modern day are discussed in detail. I was relieved to find most of these treatments were stopped or greatly altered, but shocked to discover some are still used today.

I loved the humour, sarcasm and wit found in Quackery. This could have been a dull and dreary wallow through heinous historical practices in the wrong hands, but the authors have sprinkled their own personalities throughout and made a truly entertaining — though still graphically heinous — book.

The pictures in Quackery range from twisted art to “medicine” labels of yore to diagrams detailing procedures. They add a visual depth to the procedures that can at times be difficult to fathom.

Found within these pages are levels of quackery that would baffle Donald, Daffy and Howard alike. Quackery is beautifully illustrated and fascinatingly macabre. Definitely recommended for anyone with even a passing interesting in history, medicine or the creepy and the kooky.



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