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The Last Self-Help Book You'll Ever Need by Paul Pearsall

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2
The Facts of Life?
Grace is given of God, but knowledge is bought in the market.
HUGH COUGH
 
 
 
IN 1902, THOUSANDS of Americans died of pellagra, a disease characterized by the “Four D’s”: dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia, and eventually death. Because so many houses lacked sanitary bathrooms and adequate sewage removal, health experts of the time assumed the disease was caused by a microorganism and transmitted through direct contact with infected human excrement. But this belief had not been adequately tested and little progress was made in curbing the epidemic. One authority who did not believe that pellagra was caused by human excrement was Surgeon General Joseph Goldberger. His simple empirical test solved the mystery of a devastating illness. ...

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