The Mighty Atom written by Ed Spielman is a fantastic insight into the life of Joseph Greenstein aka The Mighty Atom.
The Mighty Atom is the best biography I have read to date, relegating Anthony Kiedis’s ‘Scar Tissue’ to second place. The writer details Joseph’s beginnings as a sickly child, his running away from his family to be cured by a strongman in a travelling circus. Throughout the book you are humbled by the aura of this magnificent man, the feats performed by this 5′ 4″ 140lb man are seemingly inhuman. Feats such as chewing through chains and ripping up horse shoes with his bare hands, not to mention stopping a propeller plane from taking off by attaching a rope to his hair!
The book contains images of clippings from newspapers of the times to back up the claims of some of these outlandish feats, it even contains the recipes to some of his products. Yes, I forgot to mention, Joseph Greenstein wasn’t a brutish man, he may have been extraordinarily strong but he was a gentle soul helping others whenever he could and a loyal husband and a father of 10 (eventually 8 as he lost two children at young ages). Joseph spent the later years of his life travelling the United States teaching people about the power of the mind, about how to keep the body and mind healthy (stay away from sugar and white flour!) and selling his soaps, liniments and other products.
I have to thank Josh Hanagarne for recommending this book, it was a fantastic read. The book is now out of print, but I highly recommend you trying to find a copy in your local library.