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September 20, 1971

Children and Youth in America: A Documentary History, 1866-1932

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago


edited by Robert H. Bremmer, John Barnard, Tamara K. Hareven, and Robert M. Mennel, 2 vol, 1,546 pp, with illus, $20, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1971.

JAMA. 1971;217(12):1708. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190120074032

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No recent book shows more admirably the close relationships between medicine, history, and sociology. Society is gradually taking over increased responsibility for the welfare of children in diverse areas, and the whole field of child welfare is becoming more and more intimately connected to medicine, in its broader sense.

Health care in the narrow sense comprises a substantial part of the volume, with such topics as children's hospitals, visiting nurses, school health programs, infant mortality, mental hygiene, and birth control. Equally important are problems slightly more to the periphery, such as the illegitimate child, the supervision of foster homes, mothers' aids, juvenile delinquency, problems of child labor and education.

Readers who are frightened away by the subtitle, "Documentary History," will miss a work that is both fascinating and significant. There is nothing dull about the "documents" in the present instance. Material is derived from newspapers, popular magazines, professional journals, biographies