‎GUTTMACHER, Alan Frank (1898-1974).‎
‎Bootlegging Bodies. A history of body-snatching.‎

‎Chicago, Soc. of Med. History, 1935. 50 pp. 8vo (17.5 x 25.5 cm.). Original printed wrappers (slightly discoloured and a few spots; very small piece torn off from upper corner; some unobtrusive markt on the last 3 pages).‎

Reference : 1557


‎ Probably the first history on the subject. "Body-snatching was the bootlegging of human dead for purpose of dissection. A consideration of this forgotten trade show much parallelism between this and the recent booklegging of a very different commodity..." (from the introduction). When the practice of hands-on anatomical dissection became popular in United States medical education in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, demand for cadavers exceeded the supply. Slave bodies and thefts by grave robbers met this demand. Members of the public were aware that graves wre being robbed and countered with various protective measures. Since the deterrence of grave robbing took time and money, those elements of society who were least economically and social advantaged were the most vulnerable. Enslaved and free African Americans, immigrants, and the poor were frequently the target of grave robbing. The politically powerful tolerated this behavior except when if affected their own burial sites. Slave owners sold the‎

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