Book ID: CBB001422615

Health Care in America: A History (2015)


Burnham, John Chynoweth (Author)

Johns Hopkins University Press

Publication Date: 2015
Physical Details: xiv + 596 pp.; ill.; notes; index
Language: English

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.

Reviewed By

Review Scott Podolsky (2016) Review of "Health Care in America: A History". Social History of Medicine (pp. 252-253). unapi

Review Barron H. Lerner (2017) Review of "Health Care in America: A History". Bulletin of the History of Medicine (pp. 442-444). unapi

Review Elizabeth Siegel Watkins (2016) Review of "Health Care in America: A History". Journal of American History (pp. 167-168). unapi

Review Deborah Levine (2016) Review of "Health Care in America: A History". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 824-825). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Wilson, Daniel J.
Fenn, Elizabeth A.
Jackson, Beverley
Mooij, Annet
Turner, David M.
Stagg, Kevin
Dynamis: Acta Hispanica ad Medicinae Scientiarumque Historiam Illustrandam
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Histoire des Sciences Médicales
Social History of Medicine
Hill & Wang
Amsterdam University Press
Rowman & Littlefield
Ohio University Press
Public health
Disease and diseases
Hu Tingguang
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
18th century
17th century
16th century
United States
World Health Organization (WHO)
European Association against Poliomyelitis
Tuskegee Institute

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