A Documentary Description of Health, Medicine, Disease, and Crime in Late Nineteenth-Century America

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This book is an edited compilation of selected primary source documents (articles, reports, letters, court cases, speeches, newspaper accounts, governmental findings, and excerpts from memoirs and contemporary books) pertaining to health, medicine, medical education, disease, crime, and related areas in the United States from 1860 to the early years of the twentieth century. Due to early-twenty-first century interests in American health, diet, alcoholism, vaccinations, contagious diseases, and treatments, readers should find especially helpful an understanding of how an earlier generation of Americans coped with some of the same issues during a crucial period in the development of the foundations of modem America.


“This book is a rich reflection of social issues that influence social policy and affect the health of a nation. The impact of new science on the politics of healthcare was well rooted in this period. The resistance of the public to practice prevention is a challenge that is centuries old. Accessible healthcare remains a high priority in current debates and a central issue in a public policy that focuses on illness care rather than prevention. These fascinating manuscripts bring to light the experiences of the age through the work of some of its best scholars. Schlup and Blochowiak have collected an enlightening group of documents that capture the essence of health, medicine, disease, and crime during the nineteenth century.” – Martha A. Conrad, University of Akron, College of Nursing

“This documentary account of healthcare in the Gilded Age by Leonard Schiup and Mary Ann Blochowiak provides students of medicine as well as students of history with a good overview of the historical events that laid the groundwork for modern medicine as we know it today. The scientific basis for current medical practice was developed during this time period. It is interesting to note that the medical profession still grapples with many of the same issues today.” – Dr. Ann Ford, Oklahoma Spine Hospital

“Schlup and Blochowiak had as their objective the compilation of a documentary description of health, medicine, disease, and crime in the late-nineteenth- century America. They have admirably accomplished their goal and should be commended for their notable work. Through their diligent efforts, they have assembled a collection of readings that are fascinating, revealing, and instructive. And in doing so, they have produced a valuable sourcebook of primary documents, essays, and first-hand accounts from late-nineteenth century America. This compendium should be most useful as an important reference tool for libraries as well as a welcomed reader for undergraduate and graduate courses on this time and these topics. The academic and lay students of this period will find this collection entertaining, engaging, and enlightening.” – Prof. Timothy A. Zwink, University of Oklahoma

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