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Frontier Medicine: From the Atlantic to the Pacific, 1492-1941

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Frontier Medicine: From the Atlantic to the Pacific, 1492-1941 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In his new book, David Dary, one of our leading social historians, gives us a fascinating, informative account of American frontier medicine from our Indian past to the beginning of World War II, as the frontier moved steadily westward from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific Ocean.

He begins with the early arrivals to our shores and explains how their combined European-taught medical skills and the Indians’ well-developed knowledge of local herbal remedies and psychic healing formed the foundation of early American medicine.

We then follow white settlement west, learning how, in the 1720s, seventy-five years before Edward Jenner’s experiments with smallpox vaccine, a Boston doctor learned from an African slave how to vaccinate against the disease; how, in 1809, a backwoods Kentucky doctor performed the first successful abdominal surgery; how, around 1820, a Missouri doctor realized quinine could prevent as well as cure malaria and made a fortune from the resulting pills he invented.

Using diaries, journals, newspapers, letters, advertisements, medical records, and pharmacological writings, Dary gives us firsthand accounts of Indian cures; the ingenious self-healings of mountain men; home remedies settlers carried across the plains; an early “HMO” formed by Wyoming ranchers and cowboys to provide themselves with medical care; the indispensable role of country doctors and midwives; the fortunes made from patent medicines and quack cures; the contributions of army medicine; Chinese herbalists; the formation of the American Medical Association; the first black doctors; the first women doctors; and finally the early-twentieth-century shift to a formal scientific approach to medicine that by the postwar period had for the most part eliminated the trial-and-error practical methods that were at the center of frontier medicine.

A wonderful—often entertaining—overview of the complexity, energy, and inventiveness of the ways in which our forebears were doctored and how our medical system came into being.

Synopsis:

From the era of exploration to the beginning of World War II, a compelling study of the evolution of American medicine draws on diaries, newspapers, letters, advertisements, and medical records to detail traditional Indian medical practices, home remedies of early settlers, the role of country doctors and midwives, army medicine, the formation of the AMA, and beyond. 20,000 first printing.

Synopsis:

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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

\David Dary is the author of more than a dozen previous books including The Buffalo

Book, Cowboy Culture, Entrepreneurs of the Old West, Seeking Pleasure in the Old West, Red Blood and Black Ink, The Santa Fe Trail, The Oregon Trail, and True Tales of the Prairies and Plains. He is the recipient of two Wrangler Awards from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, two Western Writers of America Spur Awards, the WWA’s Wister Owen Award for lifetime achievement, the Westerners International Best Nonfiction Book Award, and the Oklahoma Center for the Book 2008 Arrell Gibson Award for lifetime achievement. He lives in Norman, Oklahoma.

Table of Contents

Preface

Chapter One: Indian Medicine

Chapter Two: Early American Medicine

Chapter Three: Over the Appalachians

Chapter Four: Beyond the Mississippi

Chapter Five: Fur Traders and Trappers

Chapter Six: On the Oregon Trail

Chapter Seven: Among the Soldiers

Chapter Eight: On Homestead and Ranch

Chapter Nine: In Western Towns

Chapter Ten: Going West for Your Health

Chapter Eleven: Midwives and Women Doctors

Chapter Twelve: Patent Medicines

Chapter Thirteen: Quacks

Chapter Fourteen: Into the Twentieth Century

Glossary

Appendix: Epidemics in North America, 1616–1950

Notes

Bibliography

Acknowledgments

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307270313
Subtitle:
From the Atlantic to the Pacific, 1492-1941
Publisher:
Alfred A. Knopf
Creator:
David Dary
Author:
David Dary
Author:
Dary, David
Subject:
History : United States - State & Local - West
Subject:
Medicine
Subject:
History
Subject:
United States - State & Local - West
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
History of medicine -- United States.
Subject:
Medicine -- United States -- History.
Subject:
Health and Medicine-History of Medicine
Subject:
World History-General
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20081104
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
381

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » History of Medicine
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Frontier Medicine: From the Atlantic to the Pacific, 1492-1941
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Product details 381 pages Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group - English 9780307270313 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , From the era of exploration to the beginning of World War II, a compelling study of the evolution of American medicine draws on diaries, newspapers, letters, advertisements, and medical records to detail traditional Indian medical practices, home remedies of early settlers, the role of country doctors and midwives, army medicine, the formation of the AMA, and beyond. 20,000 first printing.
"Synopsis" by , 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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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