Monthly Archives: July 2012

More new books in the library Vietnamese medicine, plague and tuberculosis

We have another bunch of exciting new books in the library this week.

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New titles include:

Southern Medicine for Southern People: Vietnamese Medicine in the making by Laurence Monnais (Cambridge Scholars, 2012) R644.V52 SOU 2012

This is an edited volume that developed from the 2006 conference on the History of Medicine in Southeast Asia.  Chapters include Ayo Wahlberg’s discussion of ‘Family Secrets and the Industrialisation of Herbal Medicine in Postcolonial Vietnam’ and editor Laurence Monnais’ ‘Traditional, Complementary and Perhaps Scientific? Professional Views of Vietnamese Medicine in the Age of French Colonialism.

The publishers have made a sample PDF available online.

Plague, Fear and Politics in San Francisco’s Chinatown by Guenter Risse (Johns Hopkins University, 2012) RC176.C2 RIS 2012

Risse’s examines the social aspects of bubonic plague outbreak in the early 1900s San Francisco.  It considers the social conflicts between public health officials and the inhabitants of the city’s Chinatown area. Risse’s other books, Hospital Life in Enlightenment Scotland and Mending Bodies Saving Souls: a history of hospitals are also available in the library.

Tuberculosis and the Victorian Literary Imagination by Katherine Byrne (CUP, 2011) PR149.T83 B97 BYR 2011

Dr Byrne uses examples from Victorian literature, including Dickens’ Dombey and Sons and Bram Stoker’s Dracula to conside the cultural associations made with tuberculosis in the 19th century.

A comprehensive review of the book is available on the British Society for Literature and Science website and a PDF excerpt is available online from CUP.

Related links: Wellcome Unit Library Recent Acquisitions page | LibraryThing

New books in the library – war surgery, Spanish flu and more

This week we have some new books in the library and a varity of history of medicine topics:

  • American Pandemic: the lost world of the 1918 influenza epidemic by Nancy K Bristow (OUP, 2012) RA640.I6 BRI 2012

OUP describe the book as a

…much-needed corrective to the silence surrounding the influenza outbreak. It sheds light on the social and cultural history of Americans during the pandemic, uncovering both the causes of the nation’s public amnesia and the depth of the quiet remembering that endured. Focused on the primary players in this drama–patients and their families, friends, and community, public health experts, and health care professionals–historian Nancy K. Bristow draws on multiple perspectives to highlight the complex interplay between social identity, cultural norms, memory, and the epidemic.

If you like this, you might also like to read Phillips and Killingray’s edited volume The Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918-19: news perspectives (RD150.4 SPA 2003)

  • War Surgery 1914-1918 by Thomas Scotland and Steven Hey (eds) (Helion, 2012) RD WAR 2012

History blogger James Daly describes the edited volume enthusiastically:

This is a brilliant book. Considering that the editors and contributors are medical professionals, it reads incredibly well as a history book – much more readable than many a military history text!

As well as a number of detailed tables, the books includes a variety of photos, include some particularly gory ones of post-surgery intestines.

  • For the Health of the Enslaved: slaves, medicine and power in the Danish West Indies, 1803-1848 by Niklas Thode Jensen (Museum Tusculanum Press, 2012) RA456.V57 JEN 2012

Danish publishers Museum Tusculanum Press summarise the text:

Through a series of case studies the author demonstrates how the Danish West Indian government implemented policies of medical control concerning the enslaved, but also that this did not take place without resistance. Opposing perceptions of health and interests of economy and security clashed in the colonial situation. The investigations reveal that in a comparative Caribbean perspective, Danish West Indian health policies were often quite unique and successful, but also that the health of the enslaved was a contested field staging an ongoing power struggle between the planters, the colonial administration and the slaves themselves in the waning years of human bondage in the New World.

The four page table of contents is available to view online – it gives a good overview of the areas covered in the book.

  • Infectious Disease in India, 1892-1940 : policy-making and the perception of risk by Sandhya L. Polu (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) RA643.7.I4 POL 2012

The contents, introduction and index to this book are available to read online for free, via the publisher’s website.  Polu examines various diseases, including malaria, cholera and yellow fever and uses them to

analyze how factors such as health diplomacy, epidemiology, trade, imperial governance, medical technologies, and cultural norms, operated within global and colonial conceptions of risk to shape infectious disease policies in colonial India. (More on Palgrave Macmillan’s site)

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