The Strange Case of Dr. Couney

The Strange Case of Dr. Couney

How A Mysterious European Showman Saved Thousands of American Babies

Book - 2018
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"The extraordinary tale of how a mysterious immigrant "doctor" became the revolutionary innovator of saving premature babies-by placing them in incubators in World's Fair side shows and on Coney Island and Atlantic City. What kind of doctor puts his patients on display? As Dawn Raffel artfully recounts, Dr. Couney figured out he could use incubators and careful nursing to keep previously doomed infants alive, and at the same time make good money displaying these babies alongside sword swallowers, bearded ladies, and burlesque shows. How this turn-of-the-twentieth-century émigré became the savior to families with premature infants, known then as "weaklings"-while ignoring the scorn of the medical establishment and fighting the climate of eugenics--is one of the most astounding stories of modern medicine. And as readers will find, Dr. Couney, for all his opportunistic entrepreneurial gusto, is a surprisingly appealing character, someone who genuinely cared for the well-being of his tiny patients. But he had something to hide. Drawing on historical documents, original reportage, and interviews with surviving patients, acclaimed journalist and magazine editor Dawn Raffel tells the marvelously eccentric story of Couney's mysterious carnival career, his larger-than-life personality, and his unprecedented success as the savior of tiny babies" -- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Blue Rider Press, [2018]
ISBN: 9780399175749
0399175741
Characteristics: 284 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

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