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July 8, 1950

One Half the People: Doctors and the Crisis of World Health

JAMA. 1950;143(10):933-934. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910450073025

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The author begins this book with the premise that more than half of the world is sick, and that the history of man is a history of man's diseases. He states that, according to the death rates, the United States is not the healthiest nation in the world. The death rate, of course, is not the only means of determining the health of a nation. Furthermore, the author apparently has not had access to the latest statistics, which do not bear out his statement; he does not take into account the fact that some of the countries he lists as healthier include only the white population in their statistics or that some nations have a much more homogeneous population than the United States.

The book contains a wealth of information on medical history written in a most interesting and readable manner. The author reviews the health conditions in practically every

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