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Deluxe Jim Crow: Civil Rights and American Health Policy, 1935-1954


Deluxe Jim Crow: Civil Rights and American Health Policy, 1935-1954 Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Plagued by geographic isolation, poverty, and acute shortages of health professionals and hospital beds, the South was dubbed by Surgeon General Thomas Parran “the nation’s number one health problem.” The improvement of southern, rural, and black health would become a top priority of the U.S. Public Health Service during the Roosevelt and Truman administrations.

Karen Kruse Thomas details how NAACP lawsuits pushed southern states to equalize public services and facilities for blacks just as wartime shortages of health personnel and high rates of draft rejections generated broad support for health reform. Southern Democrats leveraged their power in Congress and used the war effort to call for federal aid to uplift the South. The language of regional uplift, Thomas contends, allowed southern liberals to aid blacks while remaining silent on race. Reformers embraced, at least initially, the notion of “deluxe Jim Crow”—support for health care that maintained segregation. Thomas argues that this strategy was, in certain respects, a success, building much-needed hospitals and training more black doctors.

By the 1950s, deluxe Jim Crow policy had helped to weaken the legal basis for segregation. Thomas traces this transformation at the national level and in North Carolina, where “deluxe Jim Crow reached its fullest potential.” This dual focus allows her to examine the shifting alliances—between blacks and liberal whites, southerners and northerners, activists and doctors—that drove policy. Deluxe Jim Crow provides insight into a variety of historical debates, including the racial dimensions of state building, the nature of white southern liberalism, and the role of black professionals during the long civil rights movement.

About the Author

"Deluxe Jim Crow will become the authoritative book on health policy and race in the twentieth century. Thomas's breadth of research is astounding. Historians, health policy analysts, politicians, and consumers will have much to learn here."—Susan M. Reverby, author of Examining Tuskegee: The Infamous Syphilis Study and Its Legacy

"It is now conventional wisdom that the premises and policies of the New Deal were irretrievably racial; legislative concessions and local administration sustained 'Jim Crow' in the shadow of an emerging welfare state. Thomas’s careful study of health policy in the South complicates this picture. By any measure, federal health policy made things substantially better—for the region, for its African American citizens, and for its African American medical professionals. Deluxe Jim Crow is a strong book which should find a wide audience among historians of the South and health scholars."—Colin Gordon, author of Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health Care in Twentieth-Century America

Table of Contents

List of Tables ix

List of Figures xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Deluxe Jim Crow Timeline xv

Introduction. The Devil’s Bargain of Deluxe Jim Crow Health Reform 1

Part One. The Nation’s Number One Health Problem, 1900–1938

1. The Roots of Deluxe Jim Crow 9

2. The New Deal in Health 45

3. New Deal Health in North Carolina 76

Part Two. Deluxe Jim Crow Comes of Age, 1938–1945

4. The South and National Health Reform 103

5. State Reform and the Racial Divide over National Health Insurance 138

Part Three. Deluxe Jim Crow under Harry S. Truman, 1945–1953

6. Hill-Burton and the Deluxe Jim Crow Hospital 157

7. Hill-Burton in North Carolina 182

8. Training Black Doctors as Public Policy 208

9. Training Black Doctors in North Carolina 229

10. Racial Disparities and the Truman Health Plan 250

Conclusion. Deluxe Jim Crow in Education versus Health Care 266

Appendix 1. Deluxe Jim Crow Organizations 281

Appendix 2. Deluxe Jim Crow Individuals 289

Appendix 3. U.S. and Southern Populations by Race and Rural-Urban Residence, 1900–2000 297

Notes 299

Bibliography 347

Index 357

Product Details

Thomas, Karen Kruse
University of Georgia Press
United States - 20th Century
Politics-United States Politics
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
14 b&w photos, 17 tables, 4 charts
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

» Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
» History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
» History and Social Science » Sociology » Disease and Health Issues
» History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General

Deluxe Jim Crow: Civil Rights and American Health Policy, 1935-1954 New Hardcover
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Product details 328 pages University of Georgia Press - English 9780820330167 Reviews:
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