Arkansas book alert | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Arkansas book alert

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2008 at 8:12 AM

click to enlarge unknown.jpg

The NY Times has a sparkling review of a book with great Arkansas interest -- the tale of a quack doctor and Mexican broadcaster, John Brinkley, who implanted goat glands in men to restore virility. The story is well-known and long-told. Here's the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History entry, with their photo of his old hospital.

For Dr. Brinkley, whose story is told with uproarious brio in Pope Brock’s heavenly “Charlatan,” this 1917 epiphany was the beginning of a mercenary miracle. “Dimly he had begun to realize that he was gifted beyond the run of doctors,” Brinkley’s adoring authorized biography would one day explain. That book would also credit Brinkley with “this lovable characteristic of genius, that money is not an aim, or an end in itself, but a means of enlarging the central idea of his life-work.”

Selflessly or otherwise, Brinkley parlayed his goat-gland breakthrough into a unique place in American history. He was much more than just a mere medical quack. In a book so lively that its wild stories are virtually wall-to-wall, Mr. Brock describes early-20th-century America’s endlessly credulous populace, with “the average citizen as guileless as the wide-mouthed shad.” Brinkley and his virility scheme tapped into the nation’s penchant for mumbo-jumbo and hence into opportunities for salesmanship that had been previously unknown.

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Arkansas: Land of .......

    Welcome to Arkansas: Land of cowardly politicians, discriminatory laws, inhumane turkey drops and lots and lots of Trump voters.
    • Oct 8, 2016
  • Arkansas Supreme Court refuses to rehear invalidation of marijuana act

    The Arkansas Supreme Court today denied a request to rehear its decision invalidating Issue 7, the medical marijuana initiated act.
    • Nov 3, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The Saturday line

    • Just to be clear, I would never suggest any equivalency between Drumpf, who has the…

    • on May 20, 2018
  • Re: The Saturday line

    • "rabid dogs" Only serves to validate the original criticism of Drumpf's "animal" quip & the…

    • on May 20, 2018
  • Re: 10 dead in Texas high school shooting

    • Kinda proves the point, jhudd, they didn't believe in evil, but there it was, for…

    • on May 20, 2018



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation