The body politic. (Tools for green living: resources for eco-awareness and action).
The fact that snake oil actually does have medicinal properties is just one fascinating bit of information to be gleaned from When Healing Becomes a Crime by Bioneers founder Kenny Ausubel (Healing Arts Press, $19.95). The book is the story of Harry Hoxsey, whose alternative cancer treatments from 1925 to 1960 were called snake oil and worse by a medical establishment that, after 35 years of harassment, finally forced the pioneering health clinics to leave the U.S. (It still exists in Mexico.) "Orthodox medicine branded Hoxsey the worst cancer quack of the century," Ausubel writes. "He was arrested more times than any other person in medical history." But as this 450-page book (the companion to a documentary film also made by Ausubel) amply shows, Hoxsey's natural, herbal remedies and nutrition plans got amazing results, curing patients conventional medicine had given up on. Hoxsey's fate--shared by other maverick therapists--has dramatic relevance today as alternative cancer treatment gains mainstream acceptance.