I love a good nonfiction book that explores a person or event in history that would be lost were it not for the great research and diligence of the author. Thus is the case with today’s read, The Strange Case of Dr. Couney – How a Mysterious European Showman Saved Thousands of American Babies by Dawn Raffel. Ms. Raffel explores the story of a mysterious immigrant “doctor” who saved the lives of thousands of premature babies with the “side show gimmick” of putting them in incubators for the public to view. See? Something you never heard before – brought to life in stunning detail in this compelling new book.

About The Strange Case of Dr. Couney by Dawn Raffel:

“As Dawn Raffel artfully recounts, Dr. Couney figured out he could use incubators and careful nursing to keep previously doomed infants alive, and at the same time make good money displaying these babies alongside sword swallowers, bearded ladies, and burlesque shows. How this turn-of-the-twentieth-century émigré became the savior to families with premature infants, known then as “weaklings”–while ignoring the scorn of the medical establishment and fighting the climate of eugenics–is one of the most astounding stories of modern medicine. And as readers will find, Dr. Couney, for all his opportunistic entrepreneurial gusto, is a surprisingly appealing character, someone who genuinely cared for the well-being of his tiny patients. But he had something to hide.”

The Strange Case of Dr. Couney by Dawn Raffel is available from Amazon and other fine booksllers.