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The Bizarre Careers of John R. Brinkley (Paperback)

World History > The Americas > USA

Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Pages: 330
ISBN: 9780813195391
Published: 16th August 2022
Casemate UK Academic

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By 1926, it seemed that John R. Brinkley's experimental rejuvenation cure – transplanting goat glands into aging men – had taken the nation by storm. Never mind that 'Doc' Brinkley's medical credentials were shaky at best and that he prescribed medication over the airwaves via his high-power radio stations. To most in the medical field, he was a quack; to his many patients and listeners he was a brilliant surgeon, a saviour of their lost manhood and youth. His rogue radio stations, XER and its successor XERA, eventually broadcast at an antenna-shattering 1,000,000 watts and were not only a haven for Brinkley's lucrative quackery, but also hosted an unprecedented number of then-unknown country musicians and other guests. Indisputably, he transformed the fields of medicine, politics, and radio broadcasting in the 20th century.


The Bizarre Careers of John R. Brinkley tells the story of the infamous 'Goat Gland Doctor' – a controversial medical charlatan, groundbreaking radio impresario, and prescient political campaigner – and recounts his amazing rags-to-riches-to-rags career. A master manipulator and skilled con artist, Brinkley's story was but a patchy perpetuation of myths by journalistic and personal accounts – until now. Alton Lee brings Brinkley's infamous legacy to the forefront, exploring how he ruthlessly exploited the sexual frustrations of aging men and the general public's antipathy toward medical doctors for his personal gain. Lee leaves no stone unturned in this account of a man who changed the course of American institutions forever.

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