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Books, Journals,New Media
February 16, 2005

History, Indian Health

Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; Journal Review Editor: Brenda L. Seago, MLS, MA, Medical College of Virginia Campus, Virginia Commonwealth University.

JAMA. 2005;293(7):870-875. doi:10.1001/jama.293.7.872

The author of Rationalizing Epidemics proposes to “describe and understand . . . responses to the suffering caused by disease” by analyzing responses (primarily non-Indian) to certain conditions and disease outbreaks among American Indians following contact with Europeans. He describes four situations: (1) The decline of Indian populations in early New England; (2) smallpox during the 1760s to the 1830s; (3) tuberculosis among the Sioux in the late 19th century; and (4) health research on the Navajo reservation in the 1950s and 1960s. The book is thoroughly researched with an impressive list of references. The style is straightforward and clear. The author’s efforts are worthy and the book is enthusiastically recommended.

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