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Bleed, Blister, Puke and Purge

Bleed, Blister, Puke and Purge: The Dirty Secrets Behind Early American Medicine
J. Marin Younker
Zest Books, 2016
Source: E-Galley
Audience: Older Teens

From Goodreads:
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?

Ooo, gross! Believe the title! While the cover of the book looks basic and scientific, don’t be fooled. Disgusting stories and graphic descriptions of pus, historical medical procedures and malpractice await you! This is one nonfiction book that ISN’T boring.

Teenage boys, future medical professionals and reluctant readers will adore Bleed, Blister, Puke, and Purge. I’m not a big gross-out person, but I found Younker’s book delightfully disgusting. I had a great time retelling my favorite stories to my friends. It’ll definitely make you thankful for modern medicine!


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