Health Care in America: A History (Hardback)
  • Health Care in America: A History (Hardback)
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Health Care in America: A History (Hardback)

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£48.00
Hardback 616 Pages / Published: 09/04/2015
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In Health Care in America, historian John C. Burnham describes changes over four centuries of medicine and public health in America. Beginning with seventeenth-century concerns over personal and neighborhood illnesses, Burnham concludes with the arrival of a new epoch in American medicine and health care at the turn of the twenty-first century. From the 1600s through the 1990s, Americans turned to a variety of healers, practices, and institutions in their efforts to prevent and survive epidemics of smallpox, yellow fever, cholera, influenza, polio, and AIDS. Health care workers in all periods attended births and deaths and cared for people who had injuries, disabilities, and chronic diseases. Drawing on primary sources, classic scholarship, and a vast body of recent literature in the history of medicine and public health, Burnham finds that traditional healing, care, and medicine dominated the United States until the late nineteenth century, when antiseptic/aseptic surgery and germ theory initiated an intellectual, social, and technical transformation. He divides the age of modern medicine into several eras: physiological medicine (1910s-1930s), antibiotics (1930s-1950s), technology (1950s-1960s), environmental medicine (1970s-1980s), and, beginning around 1990, genetic medicine. The cumulating developments in each era led to today's radically altered doctor-patient relationship and the insistent questions that swirl around the financial cost of health care. Burnham's sweeping narrative makes sense of medical practice, medical research, and human frailties and foibles, opening the door to a new understanding of our current concerns.

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
ISBN: 9781421416076
Number of pages: 616
Weight: 975 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 43 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Burnham writes for a broad audience, and the prose is easily accessible to undergraduates. * Choice *
Captivating and enjoyable. * Stanford Magazine *
Burnham's thematic analysis of more than four hundred years of history is clearly presented, and his sweeping survey is illustrated with detailed stories and evocative images. Health Care in America is grand narrative in its finest form.
This book will be most useful for advanced undergraduates, particularly students interested in the health-related disciplines, as well as graduate students interested in the long history of medicine. Burnham provides a great starting point for scholars interested in the broad meaning of medicine and the questions associated with health and healing. * Journal of the History of Medicine *
Burnham accomplishes exactly what the general synthesis should: providing the reader with all of the basic, essential information, while simultaneously provoking questions addressed in more specialized texts. On that score, Burnham performs quite admirably, and, as such, I heartily recommend Health Care in America. * British Journal for the History of Science *
Burnham's volume will rightfully find a wide readership among historians and lay readers alike, and this ambitious, thoughtful, sweeping synthesis of the history of American health care is a welcome addition to the historiography of medicine in the United States. * Isis *
... [Burnham] concentrates not so much on medical, surgical, or even administrative innovations, but on the social, political, religious, and economic reactions to these innovations. By thus seeing the development of American medicine in this broad context, he brings into sharp relief the interaction between the health care enterprise and those who either cannot afford health care or have inadequate access to it. * Watermark *

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