July 12, 1995

Disease and Social Diversity: The European Impact on the Health of Non-Europeans

Author Affiliations

Greenbrae, Calif


by Stephen J. Kunitz, 209 pp, ISBN 0-19-508530- 2, New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 1994.

JAMA. 1995;274(2):185. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530020103046

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The title, along with the clear statement in the preface of the writer's personal experience, will of necessity limit reading of this book for the practicing physician. The study of native peoples in Polynesia, Australia, and North America reflects the interesting and unique experience of Dr Kunitz. A message is most certainly to be found in this attempt at an integrated work on how diversity contributes significantly to disease patterns in human beings. Through observations and reflections following upon direct experiences in diverse areas of the world, the author formulates innovative concepts to explain mortality and morbidity among various indigenous peoples. The author's views, as he states, differ greatly from standard theories on the impact of contact between Europeans and non-Europeans in the Americas and Oceania.

The book is logically and clearly written, backed with an extensive bibliography and supportive appendix and charts. I believe the subject matter and the

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