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The Great American Medicine ShowPrentice-Hall Press, 1991

“What is most appealing about The Great American Medicine Show is its curious and delightful cast of characters. It’s a series of Horatio Alger tales, dynamic personalities from humble and often sickly backgrounds who grew wealthy and famous telling their fellow Americans how to be healthy.”

--San Francisco Chronicle

“This extensively illustrated, whimsically categorized, and wittily written compendium is distinctly oriented toward the bizarre, the ridiculous, the unusual, and the sublime: for every medical hero here, there are a dozen or more goats. As such, it is not a reference of first resort for information about the successes of medical progress, but rather an often funny, occasionally eye-opening, and clever gathering of outright fraud and zealous charlatanism.”
--Library Journal

Patent Medicines were hawked as "cure-alls" for every imaginable ailment. (Courtesy, Smithsonian Institution)