Silent Travelers: Germs, Genes, and the Immigrant Menace / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Rent
Rent from BN.com
$10.05
(Save 64%)
Est. Return Date: 11/14/2014
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$25.74
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $16.00
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 42%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $16.00   
  • New (4) from $22.07   
  • Used (8) from $16.00   

Overview

Epidemics and immigrants have suffered a lethal association in the public mind, from the Irish in New York wrongly blamed for the cholera epidemic of 1832 and Chinese in San Francisco vilified for causing the bubonic plague in 1900, to Haitians in Miami stigmatized as AIDS carriers in the 1980s. Silent Travelers vividly describes these and many other episodes of medicalized prejudice and analyzes their impact on public health policy and beyond. The book shows clearly how the equation of disease with outsiders and illness with genetic inferiority broadly affected not only immigration policy and health care but even the workplace and schools. The first synthesis of immigration history and the history of medicine, Silent Travelers is also a deeply human story, enriched by the voices of immigrants themselves. Irish, Italian, Jewish, Latino, Chinese, and Cambodian newcomers among others grapple in these pages with the mysteries of modern medicine and American prejudice. Anecdotes about famous and little-known figures in the annals of public health abound, from immigrant physicians such as Maurice Fishberg and Antonio Stella who struggled to mediate between the cherished Old World beliefs and practices of their patients and their own state-of-the-art medical science, to "Typhoid Mary" and the inspiring example of Mother Cabrini. Alan M. Kraut tells of the newcomers founding of hospitals to care for their own the "Halls of Great Peace" (actually little more than hovels where lepers could go to die) set up by Chinese immigrants; the establishment of St. Vincent's Hospital in New York as an institution sensitive to the needs of Catholic patients; and the creation of a tuberculosis sanitarium in Denver by Eastern European Jewish tradespeople who managed to scrape together $1.20 in contributions at their first meeting. Tapping into a rich array of sources - from turn-of-the-century government records to an advice book aimed at Italians financed by the DAR, from the photog
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

New York Times

Fascinating... Kraut's narrative shows that it has always been easier to blame immigrants for epidemics than to attack the infrastructure of the disease.

Annals of Internal Medicine

Kraut chronicles the medical assimilation of immigrants through a series of public health and curative initiatives... For those interested in the public and private response to immigrant health problems, this book is a great read.

Library Journal
Fear of the ``other'' has long been part of life in America. Historian Kraut chronicles that fear as it manifests itself as fear of contamination by new immigrants. He describes how health policy was and is used to segregate communities and to exclude classes of people from entry into the United States. In particular, he looks closely at tuberculosis, cholera, and bubonic plague and at the institutional and governmental response to health crises. Kraut also emphasizes the importance of culturally relevant medicine and how it has come into conflict with the desire to Americanize the immigrants. These are important issues today, when tuberculosis and AIDS are often viewed as outsider's diseases, as when Haitians were singled out as a nation of AIDS carriers. No other current volume covers immigration and health from a historical perspective. The material is well presented and engrossing. Recommended for all history and health collections.-- Eric D. Albright, Galter Health Sciences Lib., Northwestern Univ., Chicago
Booknews
Traces the American tradition of suspicion of the unassimilated, from the cholera outbreak of the 1830s through the great waves of immigration that began in the 1890s, to the recent past, when the erroneous association of Haitians with the AIDS virus brought widespread panic and discrimination. Kraut (history, American U.) found that new immigrant populations--made up of impoverished laborers living in urban America's least sanitary conditions--have been victims of illness rather than its progenitors, yet the medical establishment has often blamed epidemics on immigrants' traditions, ethnic habits, or genetic heritage. Originally published in hardcover by Basic Books in 1994. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801850967
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/1995
  • Edition description: Johns Hopkins paperbacks ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 369
  • Sales rank: 198,242
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: The Double Helix of Health and Fear
1 "The Breath of Other People Killed Them": First Encounters
2 "A Scourge, a Rod in the Hand of God": Epidemics and the Irish Mid-Century
3 "Proper Precautions": Searching for Illness on Ellis Island
4 A Plague of Nativism: The Cases of Chick Gin and "Typhoid Mary"
5 "That Is the American Way. And in America You Should Do as Americans Do": Italian Customs, American Standards
6 Gezunthayt iz besser vi Krankhayt: Fighting the Stigma of the "Jewish Disease"
7 "The Old Inquisition Had Its Rack and Thumbscrews": Immigrant Health and the American Workplace
8 "There Could Also Be Magic in Barbarian Medicine": American Nurses, Physicians, and Quacks
9 "East Side Parents Storm the Schools": Public Schools and Public Health
10 "Viruses and Bacteria Don't Ask for a Green Card": New Immigrants and Old Fears
Appendix I: Classification of Excludable Medical Conditions According to the 1903 Book of Instructions for the Medical Inspection of Immigrants
Appendix II: Classification of Excludable Medical Conditions According to the 1917 Book of Instructions for the Medical Inspection of Immigrants
Notes
Credits
Index
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)