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Editorial Reviews

An addictive listen about the controversial Dr. Max Jacobson and his high-society clientele of over 200 celebrity patients that he injected with an amphetamine cocktail from the 1940s through the 1970s. Richard A. Lertzman  and William J. Birnes' scandalous exposé piles shock on top of shock, from the cover-ups of mysterious deaths and FBI raids to President John F. Kennedy running naked through the Carlyle Hotel.

Thorough research and collected interviews combine with Don Azevedo's easy pacing to produce chapters that fly by. Dr. Feelgood's web of shadowy influence is nothing short of astonishing, sure to thrill any listener interested in our recent history, the nature of celebrity, or the perils of addiction.

Publisher's Summary

An historical exposé of the mysterious doctor who changed the course of the 20th century, with interviews by George Clooney, Yogi Berra, and others.

Doctor Max Jacobson, whom the Secret Service under President John F. Kennedy code-named “Dr. Feelgood,” developed a unique “energy formula” that altered the paths of some of the 20th century’s most iconic figures, including President and Jackie Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and Elvis. JFK received his first injection (a special mix of “vitamins and hormones,” according to Jacobson) just before his first debate with Vice President Richard Nixon. The shot into JFK’s throat not only cured his laryngitis, but also diminished the pain in his back, allowed him to stand up straighter, and invigorated the tired candidate. Kennedy demolished Nixon in that first debate and turned a tide of skepticism about Kennedy into an audience that appreciated his energy and crispness. What JFK didn’t know then was that the injections were actually powerful doses of a combination of highly addictive liquid methamphetamine and steroids.

Author and researcher Rick Lertzman and New York Times best-selling author Bill Birnes reveal heretofore unpublished material about the mysterious Dr. Feelgood. Through well-researched prose and interviews with celebrities including George Clooney, Jerry Lewis, Yogi Berra, and Sid Caesar, the authors reveal Jacobson’s vast influence on events such as the assassination of JFK, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Kennedy-Khrushchev Vienna Summit, the murder of Marilyn Monroe, the filming of the C. B. DeMille classic The Ten Commandments, and the work of many of the great artists of that era. Jacobson destroyed the lives of several famous patients in the entertainment industry and accidentally killed his own wife, Nina, with an overdose of his formula.

©2013 Richard A. Lertzman and William J. Birnes (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Meredith
  • Charlotte, NC, United States
  • 12-10-13

Train Wreck--In a Good Way

As expected, this was easy to digest, shocking, well-researched information about world leaders and celebs in the sixties and seventies completely high on speed for huge chunks of history. It "read" like a documentary on the History Channel, and that's what I was in the mood for. I just wish it had been a bit more detailed and longer.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • richard
  • los angeles, cA, United States
  • 06-29-13

tabloid drivel

I should have been more careful before I used a credit on this one. It's so poorly written that I couldn't get through the first half. The claims are unsubstantiated and salacious.
National Enquirer type story ...

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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A Fun Summer Read

An entertaining story. Well narrated. I like to know the back-story of the main character and this book does not disappoint. The conspiracy theories about JFK and Nixon are a wee farfetched, but it only adds to the allure of Dr. Feelgood. Just sit back and let the sun warm you, this is a great listen.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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The 60's rich, famous and drugged

Would you consider the audio edition of Dr. Feelgood to be better than the print version?

As I listen to a lot of audio books due to being time constrained, the audio version got to the heart of the story very quickly and allowed me to get through the book a lot quicker than if I had read in print.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Dr. Feelgood?

The JFK revelations.

What about Don Azevedo’s performance did you like?

pace and modulation

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

This was a great book and revealed a lot about what was actually going on in that era.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeffrey
  • Austin Texas, United States
  • 05-05-13

Exciting, compelling, disturbing, fascinating!

Superbly written and the superb narration enhanced the writing. The ONLY part of the book I will take issue with is opening up yet another conspiracy theory touting more than one gunman for JFK's assassination. I will admit that the book does give a fascinating motivation for killing Jack Kennedy, one that I had not thought of nor have ever read in any other of the thousands of books and various accounts over the decades. I guess in some ways, the authors of this book had to address the issue given the good doctor's rare proximity and relationship to JFK, so I guess I have to forgive its conclusions. I salute the book for exposing the "good ol' days" as not at all so good. So many celebrities, so drug affected. Many might blame the doctor, forget that. Personal responsibility is something that has always plagued human beings from the dawn of time. Take some responsibility for yourself, stop blaming others and man up, cowards!! Anyway, this is a book that should not be missed by those who love the micro-history of the past.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating account of the drug dealer 2 the stars

The most disturbing aspect of this book is President JFK's addiction to the doctor's "miracle elixir." If, in fact, half of what is written is true, it is scary how modern history was influenced, if not written, by a doctor pushing amphetamine-laced dtugs. Full of anecdotes and accounts that are well documented, it is hard not to believe this book is an accurate account of several decades of the last century.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Hard to swallow parts of this story.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, although it is a fascinating subject but also full of what I consider irresponsible speculation.

Any additional comments?

The authors stretch the bounds of credibility when they veer off into wild speculation as to the Kennedy assassination and the good doctor's blame for it. I half expected them to place Jacobson on the grassy knoll with a rifle.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating story...

As one who had never heard of 'Dr. Feelgood', I was amazed and intrigued by this story. I found this audio book to be an easy and fairly riveting listen. I recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary
  • United States
  • 03-15-14

Very interesting!

While it was somewhat disappointing to learn the information provided about some of our nation's celebrities, at the same time it was very interesting to learn yet again how addictive "feeling good" is!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • bethany
  • SALEM, NH, United States
  • 06-24-17

very repetitive snore

Elvis? well i listened to all but the last 20 minutes I didn't hear anything about Elvis but I did hear about JFK running around naked and Marilyn Monroe for 90% of the book I thought I was going mad (possible) because I felt like parts of the book were repeated to the extent I ckd my phone to see if I had bump the back button.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful