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In this intriguing narrative, David Dary charts how American medicine has evolved since 1492, when New World settlers first began combining European remedies with the traditional practices of the native populations. It’s a story filled with colorful characters, from quacks and con artists to heroic healers and ingenious medicine men, and Dary tells it with an engaging style and an eye for the telling detail. Dary also charts the evolution of American medicine from these trial-and-error roots to its contemporary high-tech, high-cost pharmaceutical and medical industry.
Packed with fascinating facts about our medical past, Frontier Medicine is an engaging and illuminating history of how our modern medical system came into being.
“A grand-slam contribution to Western history. . . . Dary, one of our greatest historians, reminds us anew how health issues oftentimes determine history.”
“Entertaining and informative. . . . Fast-paced and engaging, rich with colorful events and characters.”
—The Washington Post
“Dary knows this material cold, and his narrative accumulates authority and dignity as it rolls along. . . . The results are both a horror show and undeniably engrossing.”
—New York Times Book Review
“Masterly. . . . Enthralling. . . . Enlightening. . . . Dary is particularly effective at showing us the strengths and foibles of early American doctors.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Impressive. . . . Entertaining. . . . Dary provides an overview not only of medicine but of society and a searching commentary on how the West evolved.”
—North Florida Daily News
“A deeply researched, anecdotal history. . . . [Dary is] a skilled storyteller.”
“An entertaining survey of the journey to American well-being.”
“A wealth of historical discovery.”
“Colorful. . . . Rich. . . . Those wanting a light and engaging look at a little-explored field of Western lore will not be disappointed.”