Dawn Raffel: Making History Matter to a Modern Audience | The Beauty Shoppe Arsenal Motors | Lecture, Literary | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Dawn Raffel: Making History Matter to a Modern Audience

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At the turn of the twentieth century, Dr. Martin Couney exhibited premature infants at world’s fairs and festivals alongside sword swallowers, bearded ladies, and burlesque performers. What may seem bizarre and grotesque to a modern audience was actually quite innovative. Known as “weaklings,” these previously doomed babies were not allowed in most hospitals, and desperate for families. Dr. Couney was a savior. Dawn Raffel’s book, The Strange Case of Dr. Couney: How a Mysterious European Showman Saved Thousands of American Babies, is a thrilling mystery about an eccentric, larger-than-life personality, his goals and motivations, and the shadow of his past.

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