An American Health Dilemma: A Medical History Of African Americans And The Problem Of Race: Beginnings To 1900

$157.92 New In stock Publisher: Routledge
SKU: DADAX0415924499
ISBN : 9780415924498
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An American Health Dilemma: A Medical History Of African Americans And The Problem Of Race: Beginnings To 1900

An American Health Dilemma: A Medical History Of African Americans And The Problem Of Race: Beginnings To 1900

At times mirroring and at times shockingly disparate to the rise of traditional white American medicine, the history of African-American health care is a story of traditional healers; root doctors; granny midwives; underappreciated and overworked African-American physicians; scrupulous and unscrupulous white doctors and scientists; governmental support and neglect; epidemics; and poverty. Virtually every part of this story revolves around race. More than 50 years after the publication of An American Dilemma, Gunnar Myrdal's 1944 classic about race relations in the USA, An American Health Dilemma presents a comprehensive and groundbreaking history and social analysis of race, race relations and the African-American medical and public health experience. Beginning with the origins of western medicine and science in Egypt, Greece and Rome the authors explore the relationship between race, medicine, and health care from the precursors of American science and medicine through the days of the slave trade with the harrowing middle passage and equally deadly breaking-in period through the Civil War and the gains of reconstruction and the reversals caused by Jim Crow laws. It offers an extensive examination of the history of intellectual and scientific racism that evolved to give sanction to the mistreatment, medical abuse, and neglect of African Americans and other non-white people. Also included are biographical portraits of black medical pioneers like James McCune Smith, the first African American to earn a degree from a European university, and anecdotal vignettes,like the tragic story of "the Hottentot Venus", which illustrate larger themes.An American Health Dilemma promises to become an irreplaceable and essential look at African-American and medical history and will provide an invaluable baseline for future exploration of race and racism in the American health system.From Publishers WeeklyIn the first of a projected two-volume work, the authors, both physicians and senior research scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health, document how, from their first arrival on these shores, blacks received inferior health care. Slaves faced a multitude of health risks: among them were accidents, whippings, cold, heat, exhaustion (pregnant slaves often miscarried) and poor sanitation. Planters rarely summoned white physicians to treat their slaves; generally, black grannies, midwives, root doctors and healers cared for their people. African-American health got worse during and after the Civil War, when the imperfect plantation health care system vanished overnight. A racist postwar society used Darwinism, biological determinism and skull measurements to argue that African-Americans were destined to poor health and extinction. In response, led by pioneering black doctors like James McCune Smith and David John Peck, African-Americans built their own medical schools and hospitals. Black physicians became community leaders and proclaimed health care a civil right. Still, at century's end, African-Americans were segregated and excluded from the mainstream health system. This is an important book, but it is not a well-organized, well-written work of history. The authors attempt to pack several books under one cover: a history of racism over the last 2,000 years; a survey of ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Arabian medicine; an indictment of the U.S. health care system and of modern America as a hopelessly racist land; and a book of political advocacy and reform. The best part of this volume is its last half, containing the actual history of African-American health from 1619 forward. The dense, stilted, academic prose style serves the authors poorly, but their book contains too much valuable information to ignore. (Sept.)Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.From Library JournalByrd and his wife, Clayton, are affiliated with Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. Their boo

Specification of An American Health Dilemma: A Medical History Of African Americans And The Problem Of Race: Beginnings To 1900

AuthorByrd, W. Michael|Clayton, Linda A.
Publication Year21-08-2000

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