The Humor of Healing Dr. Johnson surveys Western medicine
for the oddities, quackeries, idiocies, faux pas, gaffes, stumbles.
tongue slips, no-noes, blunders, lapses, misfires, and plain old
stupidities that appear from time to time in the practice of a science
that has to be conducted as an art.
a half a century's personal observation and an encyclopedic familiarity
with the literature from the 17th century forward informs Dr. Johnson's
work. Throughout the text he reveals the comforting and often self-deprecating
humor of physicians of grand stature like Will Mayo as contrasted
to the fear-fueled superstition of grim "healers." You'll
be startled as he dissects Cotton Mather's apothecary horrors, fundamentalists
grappling with sickness as sin, the sometimes diabolically clever
folkway cures of the not-recently-enough-past to misogynist medical
schools of forty or fifty years ago up to the psychobabble "healing"
of our time with deft humor and compassion for practitioners who
are, like most of us. doing the best they can within the limits
imposed on us all by human frailty.
pages, 2002, 5" x 8", paperbound