A Timeline of Medical History (The One You Didn't Learn In School)
Babylonia–lifting of pig's tail seen as medical omen
Egypt–Physician of the Belly applies electric eels
Greece–humpbacks thrown off tall buildings to correct posture
Rome–poisoning school chartered
The Middle Ages
Candles burned in patients' mouths, to kill invisible "toothworms"
Torture victims wrapped in skin of recently flayed horse
Doctors, by law, carry detailed horoscopes in their medical bags
"Lovesick" patients lined with lead shields
Lemmings fall from sky, as per leading Swedish thinkers
Pharmacies stocked with marinated human flesh, moss growing from skull and "human grains"
Carl Linnaeus (modern taxonomy) confirms that Bosum Serpents (snakes and toads) reside in the human belly
Paracelsus discovers nymphs, sylphs, water people and gnomes that dwell in mines where precious healing metals are found
Medicine's "Heroic Age"
Surgeons do amputations in 90 seconds or less, cutting off the limbs of their assistants
Dr. Harvey Kellogg, inventor of the cornflake, treats female masturbation with carbolic acid
For rabies, prestigious British medical journal The Lancet suggests massive doses of asparagus
Hemophiliacs encouraged to "bleed out"
A Little More Recent
Dr. Ugo Cerletti, Nobel Prize nominee, invents electroshock pig-brain therapy
Foot-O-Scope, to measure shoe-size, exposes customers to massive doses of x-rays
Dr. Henry Cotton hailed worldwide for uncovering root cause of mental illness-bad teeth
Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin in 1929, ignores own epic find for ten years
…Belofsky conjures horror and hilarity-sometimes at the same time-in this cheeky history of 2,400 years of doctors doing "more harm than good" and occasionally fumbling their way toward "Eureka!"
Review—Booklist ("the acquisitions bible for public and school librarians nationwide"-NY Times)
"… offers a brief, unnerving and fascinating romp through medical history, from Babylonia to …the Roman Empire, medieval times, the Renaissance, and 19th century America…"
Review—Los Angeles Examiner:
"...via a series of vignettes, author Nathan Belofsky takes readers on a wild ride through history…The book is a treasure trove of amazing facts…"
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- MORE TO COME