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Books, Journals, New Media
September 20, 2000

History: Contagion and the State in Europe 1830-1930

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


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JAMA. 2000;284(11):1444-1445. doi:10.1001/jama.284.11.1444-JBK0920-3-1

Many historians have attempted to elucidate one aspect or another of public health policy in the period between the first arrival of cholera in Europe and the dawn of the antibiotic era. Most have focused, in the cautious tradition of academic specialization, on a single country (or region, or city), a single disease, a single epidemic, or even the career of a single individual. Bit by bit, a composite historical perspective on the realm of public health has emerged, with some territories indistinctly depicted and others contested. Few have attempted anything approaching the ambitious project of Peter Baldwin's Contagion and the State in Europe 1830-1930, which, in its 581 densely scholarly pages, aspires to nothing less than a complete remapping of the entire landscape.