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Category: Biography & Autobiography
“A mosaic mystery told in vignettes, cliffhangers, curious asides, and some surreal plot twists as Raffel investigates the secrets of the man who changed infant care in America.
It’s a fascinating historical footnote, compassionately told.” NPR, 2018’s Great ReadsA New York Times Book Review New & Noteworthy TitleA Real Simple Best Book of 2018What kind of doctor puts his patients on display This is the spellbinding tale of a mysterious doctor who revolutionized neonatal care more than one hundred years ago and saved some seven thousand babies. Dr. Martin Couney’s story is a kaleidoscopic ride through the intersection of ebullient entrepreneurship, enlightened pediatric care, and the wild culture of world’s fairs at the beginning of the American Century.As Dawn Raffel recounts, Dr. Couney used incubators and careful nursing to keep previously doomed infants alive, while displaying these babies alongside sword swallowers, bearded ladies, and burlesque shows at Coney Island, Atlantic City, and venues across the nation. How this turn-of-the-twentieth-century émigré became the savior to families with premature infants–known then as