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March 7, 1959

The Health of a Nation: Harvey W. Wiley and the Fight for Pure Food

JAMA. 1959;169(10):1143. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03000270125031

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This book deals with Harvey W. Wiley, M.D., who made a major contribution to the health of the United States. It should be of particular interest to students of the developments which led to the enactment of the laws which now serve to safeguard our food and drug supplies. The problems and controversies which confronted Dr. Wiley are ably presented. The author acknowledges the constructive part played by the American Medical Association and by individual physicians in the struggle to advance the public interest. Dr. Wiley, food adulteration, and claims for the alleged values of some medicines were and still are highly controversial topics. The book is a valuable contribution to an important field of public health history, even though some students may hold that the author's portrayal of Dr. Wiley's dynamic individualism is not all that he deserves.

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