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Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything

-So, logically ...

-If she weighs the same as a duck ... she's made of wood.

-And therefore ...?


The freedom taken with logic, science, and general good sense in the rather (in)famous syllogism re: witches and ducks is not an isolated incident. Looking back over the history of medicine, up until quite recently, most doctors' reasonings followed the same merry romp through Nonsense Land. I know people get all worked up about cockroaches surviving humans in case of a nuclear holocaust but, frankly, looking at all of the ways humans have attempted to cure themselves with poisons, electricity, and boiling oil, we are pretty darn resilient ourselves.

Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything is an absolutely delightful book. Were there times when I felt woozy, mildly nauseated, and even as if my limbs had turned into mushy noodles? Yes. BUT the freaky information was presented with such wit and panache that I somehow enjoyed being grossed out…

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