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Books, Journals, New Media
May 12, 1999

Quarantine: Quarantine! East European Jewish Immigrants and the New York City Epidemics of 1892

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


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by Howard Markel, 262 pp, with illus, $29.95, ISBN 0-8018-5512-8, Baltimore, Md, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997.

JAMA. 1999;281(18):1758-1759. doi:10.1001/jama.281.18.1758-JBK0512-3-1

Combining the skills of his advanced training in pediatrics and his doctorate in history, Howard Markel in Quarantine! analyzes outbreaks of typhus and cholera to elegantly document that disease is far more than the simple interaction of human and microbe. He has chosen the population of his ancestors, immigrants from Russia to New York City, to display the complex interactions of class, politics, medicine, nativism, fear and scorn of "the other," the development of quarantine policy, and the administration of public health in New York City and Washington, DC.