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Dr. Mutter's Marvels: A True Tale of…

Dr. Mutter's Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the…

by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz

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I loved visiting the Mutter museum and this book brought me back there. It was full of the interesting oddities Mutter collected and his personal story. Worth reading for anyone who is interested in early medicine or odd things. ( )
  xmaystarx | Feb 5, 2019 |
One of those books that almost seems to be more tangent than narrative - and I was really surprised at how little the author focuses on the medical oddities collected by Mütter and more on a somewhat conventional biography (which is perfectly interesting, to be sure). ( )
1 vote JBD1 | Aug 7, 2018 |
I mostly enjoyed this. I like reading about medical history (you know, heavier on the history, lighter on the technical details), and I'd never heard of Dr. Mutter, so it seemed like a good match. The author spends a significant amount of time writing about Mutter's "rivalry" with one of his colleagues, Dr. Meigs, in which the two men differed greatly in their approaches to the teaching and practice of medicine (Dr. Mutter believed in washing his hands, Dr. Meigs most emphatically did NOT-which was awesome as his specialty was obstetrics). The detail surrounding this "rivalry" seemed a little over the top. The author writes more about Meigs' personality and personal life than any specifics regarding tension between the two men. I don't know, it just felt like she was digging for information to keep the story more interesting. Honestly, I thought it was interesting enough without the distractions. ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
It was so interesting. Cristin Aptowicz visited Dr. Mutter's museum in Philadelphia and was inspired to write about his fascinating life. He was a pioneer of plastic surgery in the early 1800s, back when people were born malformed or damaged due to injury and lived miserable lives, wishing for death. Dr. Mutter pioneered techniques that are still being used today and was an excellent professor, according to his students. Unfortunately, he died fairly young, but he left behind an extensive collection of medical artifacts. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this one, since medical books have never really been my thing, but it was really good. ( )
  bekkil1977 | Feb 9, 2018 |
I knew nothing of Mütter aside from his famous museum, which is only an hour and change from where I live, but somehow have never visited. I always assumed just a collector of curiosities, but turns out he was a very skilled surgeon dedicated to improving the lives of so called "monster." This book is part Philadelphia history book, part medical history and all interesting biography. A really wonderful read! ( )
  Bricker | Aug 19, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cristin O'Keefe Aptowiczprimary authorall editionscalculated
Singer, ErikNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Thomas Dent Mutter is dead and the world will forget him.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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ISBN 0553545159 is unabridged audiobook
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A mesmerizing biography of the brilliant and eccentric medical innovator who revolutionized American surgery and founded the country's most famous museum of medical oddities. Imagine undergoing an operation without anesthesia performed by a surgeon who refuses to sterilize his tools-or even wash his hands. This was the world of medicine when Thomas Dent Mütter began his trailblazing career as a plastic surgeon in Philadelphia during the middle of the nineteenth century. Although he died at just forty-eight, Mütter was an audacious medical innovator who pioneered the use of ether as anesthesia, the sterilization of surgical tools, and a compassion-based vision for helping the severely deformed, which clashed spectacularly with the sentiments of his time. Brilliant, outspoken, and brazenly handsome, Mütter was flamboyant in every aspect of his life. He wore pink silk suits to perform surgery, added an umlaut to his last name just because he could, and amassed an immense collection of medical oddities that would later form the basis of Philadelphia's Mütter Museum. Award-winning writer Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz vividly chronicles how Mütter's efforts helped establish Philadelphia as a global mecca for medical innovation-despite intense resistance from his numerous rivals. (Foremost among them : Charles D. Meigs, an influential obstetrician who loathed Mütter's "overly" modern medical opinions.) In the narrative spirit of The Devil in the White City, Dr. Mütter's Marvels interweaves an eye-opening portrait of nineteenth-century medicine with the riveting biography of a man once described as the "P.T. Barnum of the surgery room."--Provided by publisher.… (more)

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