Dr. Mutter's Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine Info

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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
mid-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 renowned Mütter Museum.
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
 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.”

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