Drawing Blood: Technology and Disease Identity in Twentieth-Century America

Drawing Blood: Technology and Disease Identity in Twentieth-Century America

by Keith Wailoo, Wailoo

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Overview

Drawing Blood: Technology and Disease Identity in Twentieth-Century America by Keith Wailoo, Wailoo

In Drawing Blood, medical historian Keith Wailoo uses the story of blood diseases to explain how physicians in this century wielded medical technology to define disease, carve out medical specialties, and shape political agendas. As Wailoo's account makes clear, the seemingly straightforward process of identifying disease is invariably influenced by personal, professional, and social factors—and as a result produces not only clarity and precision but also bias and outright error.

Drawing Blood reveals the ways in which physicians and patients as well as the diseases themselves are simultaneously shaping and being shaped by technology, medical professionalization, and society at large. This thought-provoking cultural history of disease, medicine, and technology offers an important perspective for current discussions of HIV and AIDS, genetic blood testing, prostate-specific antigen, and other important issues in an age of technological medicine.

"Makes clear that the high stakes involved in medical technology are not just financial, but moral and far reaching. They have been harnessed to describe clinical phenomena and to reflect social and cultural realities that influence not only medical treatment but self-identity, power, and authority."—Susan E. Lederer, H-Net Humanities & Social Sciences On Line

"Wailoo's masterful study of hematology and its disease discourse is a model of interdisciplinarity, combining cultural analysis, social history, and the history of medical ideas and technology to produce a complex narrative of disease definition, diagnosis, and treatment... He reminds us that medical technology is a neutral artifact of history. It can be, and has been, used to clarify and to cloud the understanding of disease, and it has the potential both to constrain and to emancipate its subjects."—Regina Morantz-Sanchez, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801861819
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 02/28/1999
Series: The Henry E. Sigerist Series in the History of Medicine
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.74(d)

About the Author

Keith Wailoo is an associate professor in the Department of Social Medicine and the Department of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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