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Books, Journals, New Media
June 2, 2004

International Health History

Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(21):2645-2646. doi:10.1001/jama.291.21.2645

John Farley's book is a good read. Well written, generally free of opinion and jargon, and dependent largely on primary sources, it chronicles the rise and decline of the International Health Division of the Rockefeller Foundation from 1913 to 1951. Some readers might find the tale a bit esoteric; diseases, political events, and personalities from the past may seem irrelevant today. But, in the retelling, the author underscores themes as fresh and meaningful now as 50 years ago. The future, indeed, "is only the past again, entered through another gate"(Arthur Pinero, The Second Mrs. Tanqueray).

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