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From Barnes & Noble
If the short-lived Dr. Thomas Dent Mütter (1811-1859) is remembered at all today, it is as the founder of the Philadelphia museum of medical oddities that bears his name. But as this new biography by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz shows, this so-called "P.T. Barnum of the surgery room" was far more than the collector of sideshow curiosities. In fact, Dr. Mütter was not only one of America's first responsible plastic surgeons; he was also the first to use ether as an anesthetic and among the first to sterilize surgical tools. In fact, his humane approach to treat his often severely injured and otherwise deformed patients reveals him to have been a colorful, gifted trailblazer, not an oddball.