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Public Health and Social Justice in the Age of Chadwick (Cambridge Studies in the History of Medicine)by Christopher Hamlin
Synopses & Reviews
The 1830s and 1840s are the formative years of modern public health in Britain, when the poor law bureaucrat Edwin Chadwick conceived his vision of public health through public works and began the campaign for the construction of the kinds of water and sewerage works that ultimately became the standard components of urban infrastructure throughout the developed world. This book first explores that vision and campaign against the backdrop of the great "condition-of-England" questions of the period, of what rights and expectations working people could justifiably have in regard to political participation, food, shelter and conditions of work. It examines the ways Chadwick's sanitarianism fit the political needs of the much-hated Poor Law Commission and of Whig and Tory governments, each seeking some antidote to revolutionary Charitism. It then reviews the Chadwickians' efforts to solve the host of problems they met in trying to implement the sanitary idea: of what responsibilities central and local units of government, and private contractors, were to have; of how townspeople could be persuaded to embark on untried public technologies; of where the new public health experts were to come from; and of how elegant technical designs were to be fitted to the unique social, political and geographic circumstances of individual towns. Rejecting the view that Chadwick's program was a simple response to an obvious urban problem Professor Hamlin argues that at the time a "public health" focusing narrowly on sanitary public works represented a retreat of public medicine from involvement with the great social issues of the Industrial Revolution. In exploring the views of medical men who were criticalof Chadwick, Hamlin suggests the parameters of a public health that might have been, in which concern for health and well-being becomes the foundation of a public medicine that is a principal guarantor of social justice. This book offers modern public heatlh professionals e
This is a revisionist account of Edwin Chadwickâ€™s construction in the 1830s and 1840s of a â€˜public healthâ€™concentrated on sanitary public works. Rejecting the view of Chadwickâ€™s programme as a necessary response to an obvious urban problem, it sees it as a counter-revolutionary stratagem, a successful effort to block the emergence of a public medicine concerned with the broader social questions of the industrial revolution: matters of the health effects of poverty, overwork, and economic policy generally, matters of concern to Chartists, and factory, anti-poor law, and anti-corn law agitators, of the health effects of work and wages. It is the first work to review the public health movements in light of the agendas of E. P. Thomson, Michel Foucault, the new cultural historians, the new urban historians, as well as constructivist historians of science, technology, and medicine.
A revisionist account of the story of the foundations of public health in industrial revolution Britain.
Table of Contents
Introduction; 1. Health as Money; 2. A Political Medicine; 3. Prelude to the Sanitary Report, 1833 — 1838; 4. The Making of the Sanitary Report, 1839 — 1842; 5. The Sanitary Report; 6. Chadwickâ€™s Evidence: The Local Reports; 7. Sanitation Triumphant: The Health of Towns Commission, 1843 — 1845; 8. The Politics of Public Health, 1841 — 1848; 9. Selling Sanitation: the Inspectors and the Local Authorities, 1848-1854; 10. Lost in the Pipes; Conclusion; Bibliography.
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