Women and Health in America: Historical Readings / Edition 2

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In this thoroughly updated second edition, Judith Walzer Leavitt has collected thirty-five articles representing important scholarship in this once-neglected field. Organized chronologically and then by topic, this volume covers studies of women and health in the colonial and revolutionary periods and the nineteenth century through the Civil War. The remainder of the book concentrates on the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries and addresses such controversial issues as body image and physical fitness, sexuality, fertility, abortion and birth control, childbirth and motherhood, mental illness, women's health care providers (midwives, nurses, physicians), and health reform and public health.

Organized chronologically and then by topic, this volume covers studies of women and health in the colonial and revolutionary periods. The remainder of the book concentrates on the late 19th and 20th centuries.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Highly recommended for everyone interested in women's health."—Journal of the American Medical Women's Association

"Should be on everyone's reference shelf."—Women's Studies in Indiana

"Leavitt is to be commended for selecting pieces which highlight the major debates."—Women's Review of Books

"It's a pleasure, as well as useful, to have such a range of excellent work in one book."—Journal of the History of Medicine

"[Leavitt's] approach ensures that women's history will meet high standards and, in fact, raises the standards of historical scholarship."—Bulletin of the History of Dentistry

"This anthology may be just the prescription to cure a current deficiency disease, to supply in one place the information that has been sadly lacking in historical treatments of women as patients and practitioners."—Mobius

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299159641
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 4/7/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 762,439
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Judith Walzer Leavitt is Ruth Bleier Professor of History of Medicine, History of Science, and Women’s Studies and the associate dean of faculty at the medical school, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her many books include The Healthiest City and Sickness and Health in America, both also available from the University of Wisconsin Press, as well as Typhoid Mary and Brought to Bed: Childbearing in America 1750-1950.

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Second Edition 3
Pt. I Women and Health in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 9
1 Taking the Trade: Abortion and Gender Relations in an Eighteenth-Century New England Village 12
2 Childbirth Practices Among Native American Women of New England and Canada, 1600-1800 38
3 "The Living Mother of a Living Child": Midwifery and Mortality in Postrevolutionary New England 48
Pt. II Women and Health in the Nineteenth Century 65
4 "This Trial Was Sent in Love and Mercy for My Refinement": A Quaker Woman's Experience of Breast Cancer Surgery in 1814 68
5 Mother Love and Infant Death, 1750-1920 91
6 The Female Animal: Medical and Biological Views of Woman and Her Role in Nineteenth-Century America 111
7 The Invisible (Invalid) Woman: African-American Women, Illness, and Nineteenth-Century Narrative 131
Pt. III Women and Health in the Late Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: Issues 147
8 "Something Happens to Girls": Menarche and the Emergence of the Modern American Hygienic Imperative 150
9 From Robust Appetites to Calorie Counting: The Emergence of Dieting Among Smith College Students in the 1920s 172
10 What Ought to Be and What Was: Women's Sexuality in the Nineteenth Century 192
11 Romantic Friends or a "Different Race of Creatures"? The Representation of Lesbian Pathology in Nineteenth-Century America 213
12 "A New Generation of Women": Progressive Psychiatrists and the Hypersexual Female 229
13 Voluntary Motherhood: The Beginnings of Feminist Birth Control Ideas in the United States 253
14 "About to Meet Her Maker": Women, Doctors, Dying Declarations, and the State's Investigation of Abortion, Chicago, 1867-1940 269
15 The Black Community and the Birth Control Movement 293
16 Contraceptive Consumers: Gender and the Political Economy of Birth Control in the 1930s 306
17 Under the Shadow of Maternity: American Women's Responses to Death and Debility Fears in Nineteenth-Century Childbirth 328
18 And the Results Showed Promise ... Physicians, Childbirth, and Southern Black Migrant Women, 1916-1930: Pittsburgh as a Case Study 347
19 Race and "Value": Black and White Illegitimate Babies, in the U.S.A., 1945-1965 371
20 The Invention of Kleptomania 390
21 Diagnosing Unnatural Motherhood: Nineteenth-Century Physicians and "Puerperal Insanity" 405
22 The Training and Practice of Midwives: A Wisconsin Study 425
23 White Nurses, Black Midwives, and Public Health in Mississippi, 1920-1950 444
24 "Neither for the Drawing Room nor for the Kitchen": Private Duty Nursing in Boston, 1873-1920 460
25 "They Shall Mount Up with Wings as Eagles": Historical Images of Black Nurses, 1890-1950 475
26 Interactions Between Public Health Nurses and Clients on American Indian Reservations During the 1930s 489
27 Feminist Showplace 509
28 The Gendering of Empathic Expertise: How Women Physicians Became More Empathic Than Men 526
29 Uncle Sam's Loyal Nieces: American Medical Women, Citizenship, and War Service in World War I 540
30 A "Terrible and Exhausting" Struggle: Family Caregiving During the Transformation of Medicine 559
31 Ministries of Healing: Mary Baker Eddy, Ellen G. White, and the Religion of Health 579
32 Spreading the Germ Theory: Sanitary Science and Home Economics, 1880-1930 596
33 Gendered Expectations: Women and Early Twentieth-Century Public Health 612
34 The Growth of Medical Authority: Technology and Morals in Turn-of-the-Century Obstetrics 636
35 "A Complete Disaster": Abortion and the Politics of Hospital Abortion Committees, 1950-1970 659
A Guide for Further Reading 681
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