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Bleed, Blister, Puke, and Purge
ISBN: 9781942186328
Author: Younker, J. Marin
Publisher: Zest Books
Published: October 2016
Retail: $13.99    OUR PRICE: $2.99
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Binding Type: Hardcover
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Riots over the medical use of cadavers. Public access to institutions for the insane. And full-blown surgeries without the aid of anesthetics or painkillers. Welcome to the middle ages of American medicine.Bleed, Blister, Puke, and Purge exposes the extraordinary practices and major players of American medical history, from the colonial era to the late 1800s. It’s hard to believe that today’s cutting-edge medicine originated from such crude beginnings, but this book reminds us to be grateful for today’s medical care, while also raising the question: what current medical practices will be the horrors of tomorrow?

Additional Information
Target Grade: 4-6
Grade level: 4-6
Physical Information: 9.25" H x 6.25" L x 0.25" W
Bargain Category: Middle School, History, High School, Health
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2017 Spring)
In addition to early American medicine, the narrative touches on eighteenth-century European medicine, displays of medical and anatomical anomalies in various countries, and ancient Greek and Roman physicians; later sections focus on medical advances during and after the American Civil War. Archival photos and ads, personal diary excerpts, and primary source testimonials add interest to the dense but informative (and grisly) text. Bib., ind. Copyright 2017 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2016 September)
Gr 6 Up—Beginning with the arrival of colonists to the New World, Younker provides readers with a chronicle of medical care in early U.S. history. The heroic method—a combination of medical practices that included bleeding, blistering, and purging—was a key component of patient care well into the mid-1800s. Illness was often attributed to out-of-sync humors—a theory, as Younker explains, that harkens back to the influential writings of early physicians Hippocrates and Galen. Employed to rebalance the humors, heroic medical practices were anything but heroic, as they undoubtedly caused more pain or death than relief or cure. Readers learn about a variety of early American oddities as well as incremental medical advancements, such as the proliferation of freak shows, the practice of grave robbing for dissection of cadavers, medical quacks, and the emergence of the first hospital and medical school. It wasn't until the late 19th century that Louis Pasteur's work on germ theory and Joseph Lister's employment of carbolic acid as an antiseptic during surgery finally took hold in the United States and changed the way medicine was practiced. The chronology isn't always as linear as the chapter headings would suggest, and photos are sparse, but numerous sidebars chock-full of fascinating anecdotes coupled with Younker's sarcastic commentary peppered throughout add interest. VERDICT A compelling read that will be useful as a companion text for early U.S. history curricula and for students with an interest in the macabre.—Ragan O'Malley, Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn. Copyright 2016 School Library Journal.