On Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. in the Truman Forum auditorium at Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St., author Pope Brock discusses the exploits of “Dr.” John Brinkley, the infamous “Goat-Gland Wizard” of Milford, Kansas, who made a fortune in the 1920s and 30s with his supposed treatment for male impotence that relied on the surgical insertion of goat testicles. A 6 p.m. reception precedes Brock’s presentation.
Brock’s talk is based on his recent book Charlatan: America’s Most Dangerous Huckster, The Man Who Pursued Him, And The Age Of Flimflam, which details the story of Brinkley and his nemesis, Morris Fishbein, the American Medical Association’s resident quack-buster during this period.
Brinkley, whom Brock considers America’s most brazen con man “ and perhaps America’s biggest mass murderer as well “ parlayed his quackery into wealth and power, becoming the country’s richest surgeon and a two-time candidate for governor of Kansas. He also built the world’s most powerful radio transmitter just across the Rio Grande to peddle bogus medicines “ and provide musical entertainment to millions.
Hailed by The New York Times as “a book so lively that its wild stories are virtually wall to wall,” and commended by The Washington Post for providing “a reminder of the high price of gullibility and ignorance,” Charlatan will be available for sale, and the author will sign copies purchased during the event.
Pope Brock’s presentation is co-sponsored by the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Admission is free. Call 816.701.3407 to indicate your interest in attending.