September 24, 1997

Hazards of the Job: From Industrial Disease to Environmental Health Science

Author Affiliations

The University of Texas Health Center at Tyler


by Christopher C. Sellers, 331 pp, with illus, $45, ISBN 0-8078-2314-7, Chapel Hill, NC, The University of North Carolina Press, 1997.

JAMA. 1997;278(12):1037-1038. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550120097049

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Trained as a historian, Christopher C. Sellers also chose to attend medical school, primarily so that he could write more knowledgeably about medical history. His training has served him well, especially his doctorate in history, as it is the historian's skills that he primarily brings to this work. The fewer than 250 pages of text are followed by some 75 pages of detailed notes.

Hazards of the Job is not easy reading; rather, it is dense in the style of a historical treatise, but the topic in question propels the reader, sometimes easily and quickly, sometimes through slogging detail. It does deserve to be read, and for those looking for a thought-provoking laying out of occupational medicine in the United States, especially in the early and midportions of this century, the time invested will be worthwhile.

The author sets the stage with some insights into the status of occupational medicine