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August 14, 1987

Medicine and American Growth, 1800-1860

Author Affiliations



JAMA. 1987;258(6):847-848. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400060123051

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James Cassedy's new book continues the theme of his Demography in Early America, 1600-1800 (1969), also reiterating and expanding a part of what he admirably dealt with in his American Medicine and Statistical Thinking, 1800-1860 (1984).

The domain he is rounding out for himself gives him the opportunity to pursue such appealing topics as white perceptions of black demography (this is a part of "The Medical Arithmetic of Southern Regional Development") and "Women in Antebellum Medical-Demographic Change" (a motif that occupies, rewardingly, about a tenth of the book). Perhaps more unexpected is a substantial chapter on "Manifest Destiny and Medicine," which takes care of the Mexican War, the Panama crossing, naval expansion, and the rise of the foreign medical missionary enterprise, not forgetting "missions and morbidity" in Liberia, Hawaii, and Canton. All of these have required broad research in published and unpublished materials, but hardly more than do the obvious