Title: Dr. Mütter’s Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine
Author: Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz
Year of Publication: 2014
Length: 8 hours and 54 minutes
First Line: “Thomas Dent Mutter is dead and the world will forget him.”
Summary: 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.”
Review: This is just an utter piece of s**t. It’s one of those books that is labeled as history/biography but it pure fiction. The author found like two articles about Dr. Mutter and then based all of her ‘research’ on that. The book is told more in a fun, light-hearted fictional narrative. It cannot be taken seriously.
Worst part: It’s labeled as biography.
Best part: The hope that someone will actually write a real biography on Dr. Mutter.
Recommend For: No one. It is fiction, not historical. If you want to learn about this man then do not read this. Wikipedia and the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia will have more answers.