Frontier Medicine



Frontier MedicineIn This Intriguing Narrative, David Dary Charts How American Medicine Has Evolved Since , 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

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Frontier Medicine book, this is one of the most wanted David Dary author readers around the world.

[Reading] ➶ Frontier Medicine ➬ David Dary – Heartforum.co.uk
  • Kindle Edition
  • 400 pages
  • Frontier Medicine
  • David Dary
  • English
  • 05 March 2018

10 thoughts on “Frontier Medicine

  1. Zoe says:

    Interesting topic but poor execution, I could not get through this author s wandering and redundant writing style Plus, I wanted to hearabout nurses

  2. Lissa Notreallywolf says:

    Thus far I am disappointed in this book It s not that I am not learning anything, it s that I am not enjoying the process as much as I might like I have preferred Finger s Doctor Franklin and Angelic Conjunction to this book Some of my current concerns involve the understated tuberculosis epidemic in Europe and America, the fact that he states that at the time of the Civil War people were taking asprin in addition to self medicating with alcohol asprin, a buffered form of an acid found in wi Thus far I am disappointed in this book It s not that I am not learning anything, it s that I am not enjoying the process as much as I might like I have preferred Finger s Doctor Franklin and Angelic Conjunction to this book Some of my current concerns involve the understated tuberculosis epidemic in Europe and America, the fact that he states that at the time of the Civil War people were taking asprin in addition to self medicating with alcohol asprin, a buffered form of an acid found in willow bark, was invented in 1897 The glossary does not include the weirdly named remedies of historical medicine, and frankly I cannot always easily recall the agent in Glaubers salts The index is far less than complete.There is no mention of the skirmish in the colonies between homeopathic our term and heroic medicine many of the colonists preferred to avoid bloodletting and purging Where it is mentioned, it is seen as a form of economy or scarcity of medical personnel It was not until the AMA took charge that other forms of medicine were subdued, and that was long after the Civil War I do not care for the divisions in the chapters because they do not reflect a chronological development What s , the wagon train doctors read like research turned quickly into a journalistic report, but not much tied to the technicality of practicing medicine, with the exception of the removal of arrowheads There is no mention that Civil War doctors, in addition to performing deadly operations, were also in charge of branding deserters He does not mention the minne balls which made Civil War wounds so deadly And not all Civil War doctors were ignorant of the need for sanitation Listerism was a fad that was promulgated by a female doctor, who doesn t bear mention in this book Actually Dr Elizabeth Blackwell is mentioned in the establishment of sanitation, but only in the chapter on women s medicine I don t recall an discussion of Dr Mary Walker in the book, a Civil War surgeon and doctor who spent some time as a Confederate captive.Having completed this book, I am further distressed to find that TB was only discussed in terms of Westward Ho for the invalids without much discussion on how dirt floors, spitting and a lack of air circulation contributed to it s reign of terror See The White Plague if you are interested Or it s foothold in Britain and Europe, it s steadfast company in colonial times until the 1940s It was the fear that drove people to seek out the Kellogg cure, which is discussed at length in the latter part of the book Generally speaking this is a book by an authorfamiliar with settlement issues, gold miners and cowboys than he is conversant with medical history If you want to write a novel about wagon train doctors, gold camp doctors or soddy house medicine, read someone s diary, not this sprawling over view Especially if your protagonist is female, there are far better books This one states that women relied upon their neighbors for midwifery, and that someone was always available, which was sometimes sadly not the case I haven t any interest in writing a novel I wasinterested in medical folkways in the American colonies, but it s always interesting to explore the whole social landscape of American medicine, unless of course this was the book you pulled down

  3. Sarah Beth says:

    This work of non fiction gives an overview of American frontier medicine from the Native Americans through the beginning of World War II Drawing on research from a variety of sources including diaries, letters, advertisements, medical records, and pharmacological accounts, Dary provides an overview of medicine as practiced by fur traders, on the Oregon trail, among soldiers, on homesteads, by midwives, and insight into the use of quack medical practices.The theme of this book illustrates that e This work of non fiction gives an overview of American frontier medicine from the Native Americans through the beginning of World War II Drawing on research from a variety of sources including diaries, letters, advertisements, medical records, and pharmacological accounts, Dary provides an overview of medicine as practiced by fur traders, on the Oregon trail, among soldiers, on homesteads, by midwives, and insight into the use of quack medical practices.The theme of this book illustrates that early American medical training was poor and unregulated and whether or not early Americans received timely, helpful, or appropriate care was largely up to luck and circumstances Many Americans, particularly those living in isolated conditions on the frontier, took it upon themselves to learn rudimentary medical practices that could save their lives in the event of an accident Antiquated practices such as bloodletting prevailed for many years and the advent of widely pedaled patented medicines, which may or may have any helpful effect, muddied the water of medical practice.The topic of this book was clearly quite broad and, as a consequence, this book very much functions as a survey of early American medicine Rather than providing deep insight into any one topic, it briefly overviews many topics, all of which could easily have their own book devoted to that particular subject At times, the scattered nature of the book made it tedious to read In particular, the chapter on Indian medicine was so fragmented that each paragraph leaped to another element of Indian medical practices, making it aggravating to read and extremely disjointed However, given that one chapter is devoted to all Native American medical practices, I m not sure how Dary could have improved the narrative flow The aspect of this book I appreciated the most are the anecdotes the author included that help illustrate the medical know how orfrequently lack of of the day For instance, it was incredible to read about the doctor who operated in 1809 to remove a massive tumor from his patient s ovaries The patient was forced to endure this procedure with no anesthetic or pain medication other than prayer and watched as her intestines rolled onto the wooden table beside her 58 Remarkably, she survived the procedure Dary also gives an overview of Hugh Glass, the mountain main whose attack by a bear was detailed in the movie The Revenant I also appreciated the author s description of his grandfather who was a general practitioner in the nineteenth century and who likely inspired the writing of this book

  4. Mike says:

    Medical history has become over the past twenty years one of the most interesting sub fields of American and world history as it shows, at its best, the plight of suffering of people in combat against pathogens and trauma and the efforts of physicians, nurses, and others to better the world one life at a time In doing so, the history of medicine also becomes the history of towns, cities, states, nations, and cultures It displays the trajectory of human evolution forward, away from superstition Medical history has become over the past twenty years one of the most interesting sub fields of American and world history as it shows, at its best, the plight of suffering of people in combat against pathogens and trauma and the efforts of physicians, nurses, and others to better the world one life at a time In doing so, the history of medicine also becomes the history of towns, cities, states, nations, and cultures It displays the trajectory of human evolution forward, away from superstition and towards science Best of all are works of medical historiography that are set in geopolitical settings which themselves are complex, dynamic, and full of change and drama What better setting then for any theatre of history would there be than the American West David Dary, an accomplished historian of the American West with a number of books already under his belt, takes on the unique history of medical practice in all its varied forms in the American Frontier in his new book Frontier Medicine As the title would aptly suggests, Frontier Medicine examines clinical praxis in the American West, but it also takes on the broader,complex, story of Euro American medicine as such evolved in the United States from the early efforts of the Spanish up to Federal efforts around the onset of World War II In other words, this book has approached the concept of frontier to not only include the Wild West but every part of the United States where, at the time, an outward push was being made by the white man into Indian lands or where rural towns were growing without the benefit of the medical resources enjoyed by larger cities back east At one time, we are reminded, Ohio was as much of a frontier as Texas or California.As Dary isof a specialist in the West covering medicine rather than a specialist in medical history covering the West, he is adept at reading the political and social histories at hand, yet his grasp of the nuances of medical science and related topics is also very impressive We learn of some very telling examples of how medicine came to be the allopathic practice it is today in the United States, such as the story of a midwife named Anna Bixby who came to important conclusions about the origins of milk sickness from a plant known as snakeroot nearly a full century prior to other doctors and scientists making the same observations and the mainstream medical community treating these conclusions as valid and essential to publish Milk sickness, the result of toxins found in snakeroot being passed via cow s milk to humans or young calves that consumed such milk, reportedly took the life of President Lincoln s mother and countless others in the midwestern frontier and while allopathic physicians were by and large at a loss to explain the situation, Indian medicine women and folk healers at least knew that snakeroot was involved Anna Bixby, after consulting with local Indian women, implored people in her community to not drink milk until the winter when cattle were less apt to be feeding on snakeroot which is found in wooded areas but not open fields nor hay harvested for winter consumption In the story of Anna Bixby, we have but just one amazing and important tale related by Dary in this book.Beyond touching yet perhaps somewhat expected stories such as that of Bixby, we also learn facts such as that as early as the 1820s many American states already had strict regulations for physicians much like they do today, but after a strong popular movement before the Civil War towards the power of the common man and away from a class based professional system, many of these states did away with formal regulations and allowed most anyone to hang out his shingle and practice medicine, leading to the rise of snake oil salesmen and other quacks Superstition played a leading role in how the everyday man and woman in frontier America viewed illness and healing In example, Dary reports of a woman who was bedfast due to an illness she believed to be the work of a witch whom she had offended and, in turn, this witch had placed a frog in her stomach Her doctor did not, of course, believe this nonsense but after realizing that the woman would not believe her distress to be caused by anything other than frogs and witchcraft, the good doctor caught a toad and presented it to the woman after forcing her to vomit, thereby claiming the frog in her stomach had been removed The woman, apparently hopped right out of her bed and thanked and praised the doctor for his work, with an immediate return to her health While we may today chuckle at such tales, they do illustrate how illness was, even in rather recent times, viewed by the masses without great concern to actual scientific explanation.A vast parade of varied healers come forth from Dary s pen Chinese doctors versed in the old ways of herbs and eastern medicine in California, Native Americans who had depended on the same healing practices for centuries, allopaths who were bringing the newest technologies and techniques from Europe to America and quacks who were looking for a quick buck made off the desires of Americans for fast and easy cure alls In these men and women, Dary provides an overview not only of medicine but of society and a searching commentary on how the West evolved By not restricting his scope to only the frontier as we commonly see such in terms of the Wild West but through his inclusion of the progress of American society and medicine alike from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific, Dary offers a very strongly structured overview of American medical practice Of course, for one volume to cover so much, some detail must be left out in places I was surprised, in example, to find Dary only mentions the Marine Hospital Service the forerunner of the Federal Public Health Service in passing despite this service being the first Federal level action towards public health care and thus very important in the history of American health care However, in telling the stories of figures as varied as Anna Bixby and Thomas Dyott, Dary brings to life many aspects of American health care which really demonstrate how painful and complex a journey it has been from simple surgeries and herbal cures to the scientific approach we have today in our nation which can rightfully boast to have the most effective and advanced health care system in the world To consider that such a high level of scientific care evolved in what is, all things considered, a short period of time, is amazing and no book I have yet encountered tells this epic story in as entertaining a manner as Dary s Frontier Medicine

  5. Cindy says:

    I love details and tangents Not sure there was a single page that didn t have me thinking, I didn t know that I was constantly sharing information from this book Very, very fascinating.

  6. Caroline says:

    I did enjoy this book, although I have to say it was less through the skill of the author anda result of the sheer interestingness of the topic A history of medicine on the American frontier would, one would expect, be filled with gunshots and explosions, gruesome amputations and wild and wacky remedies, replete with many moments of ewww, they didn t And this was, don t get me wrong It covers Native American traditions, Chinese medicine, midwives and women doctors, mountain men and mo I did enjoy this book, although I have to say it was less through the skill of the author anda result of the sheer interestingness of the topic A history of medicine on the American frontier would, one would expect, be filled with gunshots and explosions, gruesome amputations and wild and wacky remedies, replete with many moments of ewww, they didn t And this was, don t get me wrong It covers Native American traditions, Chinese medicine, midwives and women doctors, mountain men and mountebanks, quacks and pharmacists You even learn the medicinal roots of Coca cola and Dr Pepper.In the hands of askilled writer this could have been a 5 star read, but too often Dary descends into short potted biographies of doctors scattered across the frontier, and he jumps too abruptly from one topic to another without any kind of logical segue And I find it criminal that in a book about the evolution of medicine in America, he makes no mention at all of the 1918 influenza, a pandemic that began in America and killed between 3 5% of the WORLD s population Nor does he cover wartime medicine in any era other than the Civil War, ignoring the Spanish American War, and both World Wars, despite the fact that his timeline supposedly goes up to 1945.So overall, an interesting read on a fascinating topic, but flawed and some serious omissions

  7. Rosy says:

    Another noun who did something related to the last anecdote was name BornIf I see another second sentence beginning Born I might have an apoplexy myself This is the most boring interesting book I can remember reading There is a lot of interesting stuff in here, and evenpotentially interesting stuff sometimes that potential is tantalizing But as a historian, the author seems to have simply collected all his anecdotes, created some broad categories, and then within each ca Another noun who did something related to the last anecdote was name BornIf I see another second sentence beginning Born I might have an apoplexy myself This is the most boring interesting book I can remember reading There is a lot of interesting stuff in here, and evenpotentially interesting stuff sometimes that potential is tantalizing But as a historian, the author seems to have simply collected all his anecdotes, created some broad categories, and then within each category simply piled all the anecdotes on top on one another and that s it I would have liked muchdiscussion on theories about why certain remedies worked or did not work and what relation they bear to the scientific medicine of today I would have liked to have learnedabout some of the people and rather less about some others It s simply not necessary to know the names and where they were born of some of the minor contributors their contribution alone would be sufficient.Perhaps I was wrong to read this cover to cover Perhaps it would besatisfying to dip into it from time to time

  8. Beth says:

    I am enjoying this read immensely However, as much fun as it is for me to read wacky medical accounts that are listed with very little in the way of transitions, Dary would have done better for himself had he created a story chronologically, instead of topically, with so many different subdivisions I ma enjoying myself, but it isn t a smooth ride with any kind of discernable arc.Earlier I can t WAIT to find time to read this one Don t worry, I will tell you ALL about primitive surgery and ho I am enjoying this read immensely However, as much fun as it is for me to read wacky medical accounts that are listed with very little in the way of transitions, Dary would have done better for himself had he created a story chronologically, instead of topically, with so many different subdivisions I ma enjoying myself, but it isn t a smooth ride with any kind of discernable arc.Earlier I can t WAIT to find time to read this one Don t worry, I will tell you ALL about primitive surgery and how to not lose days of travel in Oregon Trail

  9. Lucy Gunn says:

    I thought this book was interesting, have kept it around for years and read at least part of itthan once, which gets it 4 stars My husband also enjoyed it But this book is too dense to find information When I read it the first time I enjoyed the author s peripatetic style because I like the trivia and facts he brought to each section Now that I want to go back and reread interesting tidbits I am having a hard time finding them It s better as an armchair read on a fascinating topic.

  10. Eric Mccutcheon says:

    I did not care for this book While the subject matter would seemingly be full of promise, the execution was poor My biggest complaint is the lack of organization and the need to list every doctor he could find information about Instead of concentrating on one or two doctors for the subjects he found interesting, and then using those doctors stories as the framework for a discussion on those subjects, the author proved his point by repeating the same idea over and over again Very dry and dis I did not care for this book While the subject matter would seemingly be full of promise, the execution was poor My biggest complaint is the lack of organization and the need to list every doctor he could find information about Instead of concentrating on one or two doctors for the subjects he found interesting, and then using those doctors stories as the framework for a discussion on those subjects, the author proved his point by repeating the same idea over and over again Very dry and disappointing

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