Quackery by Lydia Kang


Discover 67 shocking-but-true medical misfires that run the gamut from bizarre to deadly. Like when doctors prescribed morphine for crying infants. When snorting skull moss was a cure for a bloody nose. When consuming mail-order tapeworms was a latter-day fad diet. Or when snake oil salesmen peddled strychnine (used in rat poison) as an aphrodisiac in the '60s. Seamlessly combining macabre humor with hard science and compelling storytelling, Quac...

Details Quackery

Release DateOct 17th, 2017
PublisherWorkman Publishing Company
GenreNonfiction, History, Science, Medical

Reviews Quackery

  • Diane S ☔
    3.5 Regardless of the less than ideal state of the world today, this is one of those books that at least medically, make one grateful that we were born in today's medical world. This book is incredibly comprehensive and we'll researched. I know most of us have heard of the use of leeches, cold water cures, opium, electro shock therapy and the use of these have made us shudder with the knowledge we have now.Some of the things in this book I had ne...
  • Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
    Most of us dread a trip to the doctor's office. I know I do! But have you ever thought how nice it actually is to go to one and, well, not have to fear heavy metal poisoning? Or... not have to lose a pint of blood to purge you?Yeah, when I think about it, it's definitely good that the 21st century is the way it is, even if our medical systems are not perfect (I hear you.) But medicine hasn't always been like it is today. And this book will tell ...
  • OutlawPoet
    Cocaine, Beaver Testicles, and the Healing Power of Man GreaseQuackery, by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen, is a delightfully gruesome compendium of some of the worst medical techniques and beliefs in human history. Whether it’s the horrors of old surgical techniques or the best ways to eat a Ginger (not eat ginger… I mean eat ‘a Ginger’) for your optimum health, you’ll find it in this book.The book is funny, informative, and fascinatingly...
  • Barb
    While reading this book, I had to keep reminding myself that the practices and methods discussed weren't just a product of the authors' imaginations but were actual "treatments" once thought to cure problems ranging from babies who wouldn't stop crying to parasitic infections. Opium to treat vision problems? Strychnine as an aphrodisiac? Mercury to soothe babies' teething pain? "Man grease" to cure gout? They're all here … and a lot more that w...
  • Bernard O'Leary
    Quackery keeps trying to hold the reader's attention by making lame dad jokes about the subject matter. I'm not sure if the chapter on enemas includes a line like "talk about a pain in the butt!" but that's basically the level of joke we're talking about here. It doesn't actually need to do this, because it's a fascinating and well-researched journey through the batshit history of medicine. In fact, there's an argument to be made that the medicin...
  • Jamie
    Fascinating read and I highlighted quite a bit in the ebook; however, the constant joking really put me off. There was some extraordinary information about medical practices and the overall wacky treatments that have done throughout history-and then there would be a lame "dad joke". I just felt none of that was needed as it was such an awesome read and the information and pictures were enough to hold my intrigue. Learned quite a bit from this one...
  • Ceillie
    Read my full review here!
  • Marjolein
    Full review to come!
  • Jess
    **I received an advanced reader’s copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**With Quackery, Kang and Pedersen have created an entertaining and engaging tour of medical treatment mishaps and broken promises, mostly produced by pseudo doctors/medical professionals. While not an exhaustive look at every type of treatment available to consumers, the authors present some of the more astonishing and readily available ...
  • Storyheart
    3.5 stars. Amusing and informative read. Thank you to Goodreads and the publisher for the ARC.
  • Jennie
    An amusing collection of - just what the title says - Worst Ways to Cure. This book was a very humorous look at some of the extreme measures that people have put themselves through all in the name of being healthy. It reminded me that medicine is a practice - and I really hope someday practice makes perfect. In the meantime I am grateful for how far we have come. The author sprinkles in some interesting side facts that add to the readability of t...
  • Jo
    This is absolutely one of the most interesting nonfictional books I’ve ever read. 5/5 –Wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone and everyone with a remote interest in medicine and drugs. I loved how easy it was to read. I’ve taken plenty of science classes, especially dealing with medicine and healthcare, but this book is truly easy to follow for anyone regardless science background. There are interesting pictures, clever puns, and gruesome ...
  • Dawn
    I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley.Some interesting tidbits about the history of questionable medical treatments. The content of this book is likely to appeal to fans of Mary Roach. The biggest drawback is the exceedingly jokey tone of the author. While there are some truly funny comments, it gets to be way to much with every other comment apparently being intended as a zinger. Also, if you have virgin ears beware that this book i...
  • Celia
    The problem I had with this book is that it deals with both health scams and the errors of the legitimate medical establishment and treats them same way. This was a major problem in the first two sections of the book. The later sections of the book improve. The later parts of the book describes the history of certain treatments(i.e. hypnosis, anesthesia). The book becomes kinder towards the incomplete knowledge of medicine at the time(i.e. the go...
  • Jill
    Written by a medical doctor (Kang) and a freelance journalist (Pedersen), this book is part medical history, part cautionary tale, and part stand up comic’s routine. As the title suggests, the main focus is on the various nostrums, panaceas, and procedures that certain unscrupulous individuals have foisted on a credulous public over the centuries. These charlatans, also known as quacksalvers, or simply “quacks,” at best sold worthless remed...
  • Tonstant Weader
    Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything is a historical overview of the many wrongheaded ways humans have sought to cure themselves of what ails them. We’re all familiar with the more commonly known quackery, the bloodletting, the leeches, and the laudanum. This book goes far deeper than that into some truly esoteric treatments.Full of factoids and historical details and overflowing with full-color photos that depict the ...
  • Jennifer
    Before the review, an important note on my rating system. Two stars from me does not mean that the book was bad. It means, that the book is actually good, it's just something that I can't see myself reading again just because of my personal preferences.This book was highly entertaining and gory at the same time. As I was reading it, I kept thinking how glad I was to be alive during a time when we know procedures used in the past are actually harm...
  • Jan
    I got this book from the publisher via Netgalley shortly after reading another horrific nonfiction book on radium poisoning, so reading this one took longer than it should have. Especially as this one is designed to be a reality check, not inflame the reader to anger. In this very well researched compendium of the idiocy of mankind through the ages, the varied negative results of attempts to cure man's ills is balanced with bad puns and snarky as...
  • Ionia
    I think this book works well to remind us what not to do, for example, almost anything that our ancestors did when it came to medicine and healing. While there are plenty of gross out moments in this book, it also provides a solid history on different techniques used in bygone ages for healing of various illnesses and ailments, and the resulting issues that were born from those treatments. It is frightening to see what we thought was a good idea ...
  • Carol
    Thank you NetGalley for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest opinion.Quackery tells the story of past efforts to heal and how some of these attempts killed instead of healing. Told in a semi humorous way, it is easy to read and yet horrifying at times when we realize we have had some of these treatments ourselves.How many of us were treated to a dose of ipecac as children? How many of us would do so now? Were we really being poi...
  • Lindsay S
    Intriguing and Thought Provoking. 5 Stars! I am fascinated by the history of medicine. I've never quite found a book that struck a balance between relating to the reader as a lay person but also entrusting they had the intelligence to grasp the material. Not only did Ms. Kang and Mr. Pedersen achieve this, they did so with humor and detail. I also truly appreciated the historical context and antidotes to each treatment/element covered. This combi...
  • Sunshine
    I received an ARE of this book on NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions/thoughts expressed are my own.The information in this one is mind-blowing. It took quite a long time (for me) to finish this one, but it is probably the most quoted book I have read so far, maybe ever. I shared many of the facts and stories with many different friends in casual conversations because I found this entire tome comple...
  • Kirsty
    I love easy-to-read books about medical history, and this perfectly fulfilled that. It's one of those books that make you try to fit fascinating facts into every conversation you have for the next week. My wife was watching TV beside me as I was reading and I kept stopping to tell her all about the symptoms of mad hatter's disease, where the phrase "blue bloods" comes from, the purpose of tobacco smoke enemas, and what the first penis rings were ...
  • The Caffeinated Scribbler
    It's amazing what the human race has done in the name of science. Remember when doctors gave crying kids morphine? Or how we found out about mercury poisoning? Quackery by Lydia Kang has it all. The novel mixes dark humor with hard science. It's an exploration of history's craziest cures, experiments, and scams.This book was quirky (sometimes a bit cheesy), but a little hard to get through. The storytelling was compelling, but it wasn't engaging...
  • Marsha
    Although the book both amusing and enlightening, I do think that the distinction needs to me main tween outright quackery and really bad ideas that are firmly held and believed. Although, for instance, Pres. Washington was probably killed by bloodletting, is Dr. was firmly convinced that bloodletting was the healthiest, best thing for him! And it's really difficult to realize that there are aspects of medicine that we still loan know! We are disc...
  • Heather
    Quackery is a good (not great) look at all the crazy ways people have tried to cure themselves over the centuries. Everything from radioactive elements, to eating soil, to the king's touch. The material in the book is great, but it is really held back by the lame attempts at humour. Its not that I wanted a super serious book, its just that the jokes about Nickelback and gingers, etc. really jarred me out of the text.Dad jokes aside, I really enjo...
  • Cherei
    Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything is chockful of medical treatments going back ages and ages ago. There are so many quirky tales.. and they do not need to be read in any certain order. You can flip ahead to the "cure" you want to read.. and go back later and read others. It's amazing that the human race made it this far in time.. using some of these wacky ways to cure ailments!Fantastic book to put out in waiting or s...
  • Alan D.D.
    FULL REVIEW TO BE PUBLISHEDI’ve always been interested in mysteries, medical investigations, and even murders cases. If they come with a strange, weird twist, even better. While I was searching for a next interesting reading, I saw “Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything,” by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen. What a good choice I did by taking it.Despite the fact that it is a book about medical matters, “Quackery” do...
  • Kristen
    (This was an ARC downloaded from netgalley.com and the formatting, photo captions, and inset stories still needed work.)3.5 stars. This collection of ineffective, odd, dangerous, and downright INSANE medical "treatments" was interesting and somewhat humorous. I knew about some of these ideas but this book covers such a vast array of quackery that I learned about a number of new "cures" that I'd never heard of before. I wasn't entirely in love wit...