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Marketplace of the Marvelous: The Strange Origins of Modern Medicine
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Marketplace of the Marvelous: The Strange Origins of Modern Medicine

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3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  52 ratings  ·  9 reviews
An entertaining introduction to the quacks, snake-oil salesmen, and charlatans, who often had a point

Despite rampant scientific innovation in nineteenth-century America, traditional medicine still adhered to ancient healing methods, subjecting patients to bleeding, blistering, and induced vomiting and sweating. Facing such horrors, many patients ran with open arms to bur
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Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Beacon Press (first published January 1st 2014)
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Grady
‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’

This very intelligent, informed, fascinating and entertaining book will likely appear on the bestseller list - if the PR for it is on its toes. Erika Janik has researched the history of medicine, particularly medicine in the United States from the 17th century to the present and has uncovered some gripping information that should alter the manner in which holistic medicine is viewed today. While more and more people are struggling to get off the obesity
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Melora
I'm giving this four stars, rather than the three and a half my “enjoyment” level would suggest, because it is very well done and my moderate enthusiasm was a result of my interest level in the subject, not the author's handling of it.

Janek begins the book with an introduction to the subject, “alternative” or “nonregular” medical treatments in the United States in the 19th century, and devotes the next seven chapters to fairly in-depth explorations of the rise and spread of seven “alternate” he
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Paula
I received this book from the Goodreads First reads giveaway program. Thank you author/publisher for the opportunity to read and review your newest book.

Marketplace of the Marvelous: The Strange Origins of Modern Medicine by Erika Janik is a wealth of knowledge about the history of alternative medicines in the nineteenth century .

The book explores several forms of alternative medicine:

A few examples:

Botanical Medicine-using plants (herbs,leaves.roots) to prevent and cure disease

Phrenology-the st
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Anna
"Marketplace of the Marvelous" is a very engaging, very well-researched book detailing the history of American medicine from its roots in blood-letting, phrenology and water cures to the rise of alternative medicine and its clashing relationship with modern medicine. Janik does an excellent job of explaining how some of these odd remedies helped shape modern medicine, such as Victorian water cures emphasizing the importance of hygiene. However, I couldn’t give the book five stars because of the ...more
Biblio Files
It's probably occurred to you, as you read the news, that modern medicine is a work very much in progress. Electro-shock therapy, hormone supplements, early AIDs "cures" all out the window to be replaced by something else that doctors swear by, until tomorrow. It's almost inevitable that if you are alive in fifty years, you will consider today's medical procedures as primitive as bloodletting and lobotomies seem to us now.

Erika Janik's book is about some of the common practices of the 19th centu
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Jeremy
(I received this book from the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program.)

I enjoyed the substance of the material. The cyclical nature of "fad starts, gets denounced, goes viral, gets denounced louder, founder does something incredibly stupid, fad ends" was particularly amusing; and the book certainly paints "regular medicine" in a different light. It was also interesting when one of the alternative systems had a very sound basis, but no real explanation of why.

On the other hand, the book could hav
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Diane
full of interesting information about the history of alternative medical treatments. a well-written and concise history. I imagine professionals would enjoy this as much as lay people.
Nancy
Nov 01, 2014 Nancy added it
I skimmed thru this and gave up - it has tiny print and very historical
Sarah
Apr 14, 2015 Sarah marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
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Erika Janik is a freelance writer and a radio producer at Wisconsin Public Radio. She is the author of Apple: A Global History, Madison: A History of a Model City, A Short History of Wisconsin, and Odd Wisconsin: Amusing, Perplexing and Unlikely Stories from Wisconsin’s Past.

Interested in nearly everything, Erika writes on local food and drink, Wisconsin history, medical history, and green living,
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More about Erika Janik...
A Short History of Wisconsin Odd Wisconsin: Amusing, Perplexing, and Unlikely Stories from Wisconsin's Past Apple: A Global History Madison: History of a Model City Apple: A Global History (Edible)

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