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Dr. Mutter's Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine
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Penguin Publishing Group 2014
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Description
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."
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/04/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780698162105
ASIN:
B00ISEOINK
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APA Citation (style guide)

Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz. (2014). Dr. Mutter's Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz. 2014. Dr. Mutter's Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation At the Dawn of Modern Medicine. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz, Dr. Mutter's Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation At the Dawn of Modern Medicine. Penguin Publishing Group, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz. Dr. Mutter's Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation At the Dawn of Modern Medicine. Penguin Publishing Group, 2014. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Dr. Mutter's Marvels
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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."
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from July 28, 2014
        Performance poet Aptowicz (Words in Your Face) turns her attention to the birth of modern American medicine, and the astonishing degree to which it was influenced by one man, in this moving and delicately crafted biography. As chief of surgery at Jefferson Medical College, one of the U.S.’s first teaching hospitals, Thomas Dent Mütter (1811–1850) transformed medicine with technical innovations like the surgical skin flap that has saved millions of burn victims. Mütter instinctively understood the value of sterility long before germs were discovered—establishing cleanliness standards in hospital wards, operating rooms, and surgical recovery rooms—and viewed anesthesia as a triumph that rendered certain surgical horrors a thing of the past rather than a Satanic tool. Mütter also transformed the profession via his attitude, entertaining and involving students instead of lecturing at them, and told patients the truth about their illnesses, respecting their “right to know” a century before the patient autonomy movement. Aptowicz shows Mütter, beloved by his students, evolving from a mischievous, impatient young doctor to an increasingly spiritual man beset by premature illness, and her writing is as full of life as her subject.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from July 15, 2014
        Biography of a flamboyant surgeon who helped transform American medicine.A leading figure at Philadelphia's Jefferson Medical College in the early 19th century, Dr. Thomas Dent Mutter (1811-1859) won acclaim for his remarkable reconstructive surgeries on deformed patients (with bad burns, cleft palates, mangled faces, etc.) whom most people dismissed as monsters. His hands were "a confident blur of motion" as he worked to alleviate the suffering of patients, writes poet Aptowicz (The Year of No Mistakes, 2013, etc.), whose earlier screenplay on Mutter won many awards. "Where others once saw a monster, Mutter thought, he had revealed the man." In her deftly crafted narrative, the author provides an absorbing account of the charismatic surgeon's life and career as well as a vivid look at the medical practices and prejudices of his time. His students adored him, and the disfigured flocked to him. European contemporaries saw him as a "dashing, outspoken, idiosyncratic American visionary." In an era when many physicians were callous, medical rivals often balked at the kindly Mutter's successful introduction of such innovations as recovery rooms, clean surgical areas and the use of ether anesthesia in surgery. After treating a man who suffered from elephantiasis, the surgeon took up a collection for him. Aptowicz draws nicely on Mutter's speeches and lectures to reveal the depth of his empathetic philosophies and humanist approach. In his teaching, he made extensive use of an unusual collection of some 2,000 anatomical specimens-diseased bones, skeletons, deformed organs preserved in jars-as well as paintings, drawings and instruments. These "marvels" formed the core of Philadelphia's popular Mutter Museum, which opened in 1858.Mutter's healing work inspired former students, from the celebrated Civil War surgeon Jonathan Letterman to the pharmaceutical manufacturer E.R. Squibb. His life story will move many readers.

        COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from September 1, 2014

        In 1858, Thomas Dent Mutter (1811-59) bequeathed to the College of Physicians of Philadelphia his large collection of medical specimens, and the Mutter Museum remains one of the most highly regarded repositories of its kind. Little is known about the American-born surgeon whose collection took his name; none of Mutter's diaries and only a few of his letters survive, and he and his wife had no children. Aptowicz (poet and former writer-in-residence, Univ. of Pennsylvania) has penned a fast-moving and popular history of the early to mid-19th-century American and Parisian medical worlds, making the most of works by and about Mutter's contemporaries. The book connects the dots among the doctor's youthful dandyism, his attractiveness, his kindness toward his patients, and his fascination with what we would today call reconstructive plastic surgery, of which he was a pioneer. Mutter operated successfully on patients with cleft palate, clubfoot, burn scars, and other disfiguring conditions. One of several histories of the museum was written by Gretchen Worden (Mutter Museum, 2002), the author's mentor, but this is the first biography of Mutter. The finished version of the book promises to have more than "80 black-and-white historical photographs and illustrations," some quite graphic. VERDICT Written for the general public, this will be of great interest to large public libraries. Index not seen.--Martha Stone, Treadwell Lib., Boston

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        September 15, 2014
        Surgery suffered some serious growing pains in early-nineteenth-century America, with no anesthesia, no sterile conditions, no recovery rooms. Enter Thomas Dent Mtter. The flamboyant physician nudged American medicine forward with his teaching, surgical prowess, and compassion. Mtter was the first surgeon in Philadelphia to administer ether anesthesia. He was also an innovator in plastic surgery techniques and an expert operator on burn victims and cleft palates. He advocated for clean environments for surgery. Mtter amassed a personal collection of about 2,000 unique items, including models, illustrations, and preserved anatomical anomalies. Among those specimens are a mask of a woman with a large horn emanating from her forehead, the skeleton of a giant, skulls from around the world, and Civil War surgical instruments still stained with blood. Mtter donated his entire collection of medical curiosities to the College of Physicians of Philadelphia along with $30,000. The Mtter Museum opened in 1863 and continues to be frequently visited. This book shines light on an unusual and talented doctor and the evolving medical landscape that he helped shape.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription

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...

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Dr Mutters Marvels A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine
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A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine
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Penguin Publishing Group