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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Kirby Randolph(University of Pennsylvania)
Description: The authors of this text trace the medical history of African-Americans from the earliest African records to 1900.
Purpose: The authors, both obstetrician gynecologists and who hold masters degrees in public health, examine the history of racial disparities in U.S. healthcare in order to assist in the struggle to realize parity in health outcomes and status with other Americans. This is an ambitious and worthy project. Of the recent scholarship analyzing the medical experiences of African-Americans, no other is as comprehensive in scope. The authors convincingly meet their educational objective.
Audience: The book is written for public health policymakers and students, healthcare providers, and students of American medical and African-American history.
Features: This work is a good introduction to scientific thinking about race, access to healthcare, medical education, and differential health outcomes for African-Americans. Although this work is a synthesis, it fills a void in the literature as the authors place the experience and perspective of African-Americans at the center of the analysis. The book is heavily footnoted and will prove useful to students and researchers.
Assessment: Weaknesses include scope and repetition. The authors present the material in ways some historians will take issue with, but the value of their contribution is obvious. This book should be in every library.