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In this intriguing narrative, David Dary charts how American medicine has evolved since 1492, when New World settlers first began combining European remedies with the traditional practices of the native populations. It's a story filled with colorful characters, from quacks and con artists to heroic healers and ingenious medicine men, and Dary tells it with an engaging style and an eye for the telling detail. Dary also charts the evolution of American medicine from these trial-and-error roots to its contemporary high-tech, high-cost pharmaceutical and medical industry. Packed with fascinating facts about our medical past,Frontier Medicineis an engaging and illuminating history of how our modern medical system came into being.
Dary (journalism emeritus, U. of Oklahoma) reminds those of us who get winded climbing into our SUVs that those who traveled into the west long before the latte arrived were made of stern stuff. He describes the original European and American explorations into the Oregon Territory and the influence of the fur trade and missionaries. He tracks the inflow of emigrants that led to conflict among the various nations who coveted the natural resources the territory had to offer and the promises of building empire, He also reveals the startling tensions about slavery in the region. He describes how the territory became American, and how close it came to supporting the Confederacy. Dary includes detailed maps and a glossary. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
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