Foreword to Palmer Chiropractic Green Books
The first shipments of Palmer Chiropractic Green Books: The Definitive Guide by Timothy Faulkner, Joseph Foley, and Simon Senzon are beginning to arrive worldwide. The first one was received by Donald McDowall, DC, DNBCE, DIBAK, MAppSc, author of the book’s Foreword. Here is a picture of the chiropractic historian himself with the newest textbook for his incredible collection.
The Foreword is posted below. We have also posted the Contents, the Introduction, and the review from Chiropractic History. The Definitive Guide is already reshaping the discourse in the chiropractic profession.
I have known two of the authors, Faulkner and Foley, since the early days of the Internet in the 1990s. I have known Senzon for the past few years. My expertise as a collector of Green Books as well as a scholar of chiropractic’s early theories gives me a unique perspective on this book. Senzon’s analysis of the forty-four Green Books as described in Chapters Two through Fifteen is outstanding. As to Senzon’s overview, I recommend you take the time to study it carefully, read the references, and then study it again. It is the best introduction to the Green Books ever written. I would however like to provide more context for the important the work of Faulkner and Foley.
The authors, chiropractors Dr. Joe Foley and Dr. Tim Faulkner were computer savvy, Internet addicts as well as chiropractic literature scavenging devotees who competed with me for some of the rare documents, books and memorabilia listed on the used bookstore networks and the Ebay auction website.
In those early days there were few sources for acquiring chiropractic literature and memorabilia outside of being gifted with a retiree chiropractor’s collection or purchasing an estate collection from advertisements. Many retired chiropractors simply packaged their collections and sent them to their Alma Mater for the library archives. Some padded their retirement funds and sold them to the highest or quickest Internet bidder. Much rare historical literature was destroyed when chiropractors passed away.
These old books and relics of the early chiropractors became treasures for a few collectors like Foley, Faulkner and myself. However, the disadvantage I had in this competition to find chiropractic treasures, was where I lived. Canberra, Australia was a long way from where most chiropractors lived in the heartland of chiropractic, the good old USA. The other problem I had was the 14-hour time difference between Australia and the USA.
Sometimes we would bid against each other over a book listing. Dr. Foley and I met battling each other on Ebay.com for a leather-bound edition of D.D. Palmer’s great 1910/11 tomes. Dr. Foley won that battle. However, I was able to win the 1904-1906 leather bound editions of The Chiropractor journal from the same collection. That was an interesting experience because the dealer only listed the first of the three volumes. When I won it, I telephoned the dealer and asked if she had any other items from the same collection that she had not yet listed for sale. She said there were two others and asked if I would like to purchase them as a group without them being listed on Ebay.com. Of course I said yes and was able to score the whole collection. I eventually found out they were a set of only six that B.J. Palmer ever bound and sold. As books they predated Modernized Chiropractic published in 1906 by Smith and Langworthy and The Science of Chiropractic by D.D. and B.J. Palmer, also in 1906.
Collectors are often criticized for hoarding without sharing their know-ledge. This publication is a testament to both authors for giving of their knowledge of this very specialized collector’s niche. I have followed their research and papers published in the Association for the History of Chiropractic Journal with great interest, enjoying their adventures as they uncover the most unusual history of the chiropractic profession.
This book focuses on identifying, grading and rating the Palmer Green Books published by the Palmer School and College of Chiropractic. The books were written from 1906 to 1961 and are generally identified by their green cloth covers. These books are important to chiropractors because they describe the history and challenges of the profession. Some describe the arguments and contentions that arose and were resolved or continued by the Palmers, others are texts that have gone through multiple prints and occasional additional editions.
Knowing what books to look for and how to identify these original books from modern reprints is essential to gauge a reasonable price. The authors show you how to identify the characteristics of the original books and assess their condition. Some of these books may appear new and others will be so well used they are covered in notes, handed down to many generations of students until the covers fall off and the pages fragmenting.
Over time some books became very hard to find. In fact, only 15 copies of D.D. Palmer’s original 1910 book are known to exist. There may be even less copies of his 1914 book. The variations in prices of these books are well described for the beginning collector.
The book describes how to begin your collection and how to expand it. The Introduction describes Foley and Faulkner’s journey as collectors. Many of the documents and books are housed at the special collections section of the Palmer University Library, the mecca for chiropractors, where they can visit and see complete sets of the various editions of these famous books. This library also contains many original publications from before the beginning of the profession that may inspire you to broaden your collection. The book also includes an extensive collection of photographs of the books to best illustrate the variety of collections possible to achieve.
Why go to this much trouble to collect the history of this unique profession? For many it will be a family heritage in the chiropractic profession, for others it will be the knowledge found in the books that may soon be lost as the profession transitions into a back pain care model. Many chiropractic schools worldwide are not teaching today’s students their chiropractic history, philosophy and some of its science. Today’s students may never know the unique features of their profession without having this founding education recorded by the Palmers.
Chiropractic began in a healing culture that included homeopathy (eclectics), naturopathy, medical gymnastics (pilates), pharmaceuticals, orthopedics and surgery, and still people suffered chronic conditions with no hope for further help. D.D. Palmer found that adjusting the spine rebooted the human nervous system to reset and restore tissues, organs and structures where other methods had failed. With so few copies of these early books available many chiropractors may need to refocus their current practice using the information in this book.
D.D. Palmer was a genius and defended the profession he founded in his 1910 thesis much to the dislike of those who misunderstood or misused his work. B.J. Palmer carried the flame and continued to defend his father’s work until 1961. He added new methods of analysis and adjustment as described in these books. Today’s chiropractors risk having a profession by name only without knowing its foundations as recorded by its founders. Drs. Faulkner, Foley, and Senzon have narrowed that gap with this work. I encourage every chiropractor to study this book and reclaim their heritage by developing their own collection of chiropractic history.
DC (PCC), DNBCE, DIBAK, MAppSc.