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The Politics of the Healthy Life: An International Perspective
edited by Esteban Rodriguez-Ocana

Subject: History of Medicine
Publisher: EAHMH Publications (UK)

Edition Our Price inc. p&p Status
hardback, x+288pp, ISBN 0953652254, 2003 UK only: £34.95 in stock

The Politics of the Healthy Life: An International Perspective cover

Other volumes in the EAHMH History of Medicine, Health and Disease Series:

This collection of ten essays investigates the rationale of (public) health interventions from the nineteenth century through to the late twentieth century.

It explores a variety of national and international contexts that range from imperial and colonial confrontation to the founding of the World Health Organisation. Social medicine is a particularly prominent theme, revealing how in the course of a century the once clear distinction between prevention and care came to be so blurred.

By bringing together leading scholars in the fields of social history, history of medicine, psychiatry, history of science, demography and geography, this book shows how religious beliefs, welfare politics, professional associations and the challenges of war have contributed to the shifting political arena, especially at an international level.

The result is a volume which not only enhances our understanding of modern society, but also helps to clarify the cultural meaning of medicine as a historical agent.


  • Esteban Rodríguez-Ocaña, "The Politics of the Healthy Life: Reflections in an International Setting"
  • Gerry Kearns and Paul Laxton, "Ethnic Groups as Public Health Hazards: the Famine Irish in Liverpool and Lazaretto Politics"
  • Pedro Samblás Tilve, "Drug Use in Turn-of-the-Century Spain: from Freedom of Consumption to a Public Health Problem"
  • Alfredo Menéndez Navarro, "Shaping Industrial Health: the Debate on Asbestos Dust Hazards in the UK, 1928–39"
  • Shirish N. Kavadi, "'Wolves Come to Take Care of the Lamb': the Rockefeller Foundation's Hookworm Campaign in the Madras Presidency, 1920–28"
  • Paul Weindling, "From Moral Exhortation to the New Public Health, 1918–45"
  • John F. Hutchinson, "Promoting Child Health in the 1920s: International Politics and the Limits of Humanitarianism"
  • Gabriele Moser and Jochen Fleischhacker, "People's Health and Nation's Body: the Modernisation of Statistics, Demography and Social Hygiene in the Weimar Republic"
  • Marcos Cueto, "Social Medicine in the Andes, 1920–50"
  • Lion Murard and Patrick Zylberman, "French Social Medicine on the International Public Health Map in the 1930s"
  • James A. Gillespie, "Social Medicine, Social Security and International Health, 1940–60"
  • Consolidated Bibliography
  • Index


Marcos Cueto is Professor at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia and researcher at the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos at Lima, Perú. He has been visiting professor at the Center of Latin American and Caribbean Studies of New York University during the spring term of 2001. His research deals with the history of medicine and public health in Peru and Latin America. His latest book is The Return of Epidemics, Health and Society in Peru during the twentieth century (Aldershot, Ashgate, 2001).

Jochen Fleischhacker is a scientific researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock and lecturer at the Department of History at the University of Rostock, Germany. His main fields of research are demographic history, the history of demographic thought in Germany between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the processes of demographic transition in East Germany and several other Eastern European Countries.

James Gillespie is in the Politics Department, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. He is the author of The Price of Health: Australian Governments and Medical Politics, 1910–1960, Cambridge University Press 1991, and of articles on the history of British, Australian and international social and health policy. He is currently completing a study of the building of international health organizations, 1940–60.

John F. Hutchinson (1938–2002) was Professor of History at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. The author of a prize-winning history of the Red Cross, prior to his death he was writing a book on major humanitarian initiatives between 1863 and 1939. His two-part history of international disaster relief efforts recently appeared in The International History Review (XX11.1: March 2000, pp. 1–36 and XX111.2: June 2001, pp. 253–98). Professor Hutchinson sadly died in May 2002 whilst this book was in production.

Shirish Naresh Kavadi is an independent researcher and consultant to non-governmental organisations and development agencies, based in Pune (Poona), India. He has degrees in History and Political Science from the University of Bombay (now Mumbai). He has worked as a college/university lecturer in Political Science and was Senior Research Officer at The Foundation For Research In Community Health, Mumbai/Pune. His area of research includes health policy, the politics of health and history of health/medicine. Among his publications is The Rockefeller Foundation and Public Health in Colonial India. A Narrative History (Mumbai/Pune, 1999).

Gerry Kearns is a Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, and a lecturer in the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, UK. Previously he taught at the University of Liverpool and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests currently include the relationships between ideologies and public health, and the historical geography of Irish identities. He has published on epidemic disease in cities, ideology and urban society, and the development of geographical ideas.

Paul Laxton is a graduate of the University of Durham and has lectured in historical geography at the University of Liverpool, UK, from 1969 to 2002. He is now an Honorary Fellow of the University of Liverpool. His interests include the evolution of British and American cities, public health and the historical demography of cities, and the history of cartography. For some years he has been working with Gerry Kearns on public health, sanitary politics and ethnic demography in mid-nineteenth century Liverpool.

Alfredo Menéndez Navarro is lecturer at the Department of History of Science of the University of Granada, Spain. His research interests include the history of occupational health, the history of information science and also scientific popularisation. His published work includes Un mundo sin sol. La salud de los trabajadores de las minas de Almadén, 1750–1900 (1996) and the edition of the eighteenth-century medical manuscript Catástrofe morboso de las minas mercuriales de la Villa de Almadén del Azogue (c.1778) (1998). He is currently working on medical technologies during the Francoist regime in Spain.

Gabriele Moser is a scientific researcher at the University of Greifswald, Germany. She has published on the social history of public health, on medical professionals and pension neurosis, and on occupational diseases in twentieth-century Germany. Currently she is involved in a project on experts and medical expertise in twentieth-century social insurances, especially in the GDR.

Lion Murard and Patrick Zylberman are both senior researchers at the CERMES (Centre de Recherche Médecine, Sciences, Santé et Société), CNRS-INSERM-EHESS, Paris, France. They jointly authored L'Hygiène dans la République. La santé publique en France, ou l'utopie contrariée (1870–1918) (Paris, Fayard, 1996). Their research focus on public health and state-building in twentieth-century Europe, and on public health in France from the 1920s to the 1940s.

Esteban Rodríguez-Ocaña is Professor of History of Science at the University of Granada (Spain). His research focuses on aspects of the historical relationship between medicine and society at various levels: epidemic diseases, occupational medicine and public health, including public schemes for medical care. He is currently studying the antimalaria campaigns of the twentieth century in Spain and the links with the Rockefeller Foundation.

Pedro Samblás Tilve is currently assistant lecturer of History of Science at the Albacete School of Medicine, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain. His fields of research are the history of the medical profession and medical discourses on drug addiction and their social implications.

Paul Weindling is Wellcome Trust Research Professor in the History of Medicine at the School of Humanities, Oxford Brookes University, UK, editor of the seminal International health organisations and movements, 1918–1939 (Cambridge, 1995) and author of Epidemics and Genocide in Eastern Europe, 1890–1945 (Oxford, 2000).