Posted by: Alice Nelson | 04/07/2012

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)

Related Links: Recommend a book for the library to purchase | Search SOLO library catalogue | Contact us to make an appointment to visit the library | See all our new books on LibraryThing


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