Healing a Divided Nation: How the American Civil War Revolutionized Western Medicine

Healing a Divided Nation: How the American Civil War Revolutionized Western Medicine

by Carole Adrienne
Healing a Divided Nation: How the American Civil War Revolutionized Western Medicine

Healing a Divided Nation: How the American Civil War Revolutionized Western Medicine

by Carole Adrienne


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"An exceptional look at the growth of health care spurred by the Civil War?"—David J Kent, award-winning scientist and author of Lincoln: The Fire of Genius: How Abraham Lincoln's Commitment to Science and Technology Helped Modernize America

At the start of the Civil War, the medical field in America was rudimentary, unsanitary, and woefully underprepared to address what would become the bloodiest conflict on U.S. soil. However, in this historic moment of pivotal social and political change, medicine was also fast evolving to meet the needs of the time. Unprecedented strides were made in the science of medicine, and as women and African Americans were admitted into the field for the first time.

The Civil War marked a revolution in healthcare as a whole, laying the foundations for the system we know today. In Healing a Divided Nation, Carole Adrienne will track this remarkable and bloody transformation in its cultural and historical context, illustrating how the advancements made in these four years reverberated throughout the western world for years to come.

Analyzing the changes in education, society, humanitarianism, and technology in addition to the scientific strides of the period lends Healing a Divided Nation a uniquely wide lens to the topic, expanding the legacy of the developments made. The echoes of Civil War medicine are in every ambulance, every vaccination, every woman who holds a paying job, and in every Black university graduate. Those echoes are in every response of the International and American Red Cross and they are in the recommended international protocol for the treatment of prisoners of war and wounded soldiers.

Beginning with the state of medicine at the outset of the war, when doctors did not even know about sterilizing their tools, Adrienne illuminates the transformation in American healthcare through primary source texts that document the lives and achievements of the individuals who pioneered these changes in medicine and society. The story that ensues is one of American innovation and resilience in the face of unparalleled violence, adding a new dimension to the legacy of the Civil War.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781639361854
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 08/09/2022
Pages: 364
Sales rank: 517,970
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Carole Adrienne received her B.F.A. from Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia. She has organized an archive for Old St. Joseph’s National Shrine, twice chaired “Archives Week” in Philadelphia, and has served on advisory panels for the Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center, The Mutter Museum’s “Civil War Medicine” exhibit and its “Spit Spreads Death: The 1918 Flu Epidemic” exhibit. She is working on a documentary film series on Civil War medicine and lives in Philadelphia, PA. This is her first book.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 The State of American Medicine in 1861 1

2 What Made This War So Deadly? 38

3 The Doctors 60

4 The Emergence of Women and the Evolution of Skilled Nursing 102

5 Battling Shortages, Inexperience, and Blockades: The Solutions, Replacements, and Innovations 146

6 Hospitals: A Revolution in Care 178

7 The Volunteers: Genesis of a Great Humanitarian Movement 213

8 The Legacy 247

Acknowledgments 281

Bibliography 285

Index 297

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