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Children’s Health Issues in Historical Perspective

Edited by Cheryl Krasnick Warsh & Veronica Strong-Boag
Subjects Medical, History Of Medicine, Political Science, Social Policy
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Paperback : 9780889204744, 568 pages, November 2005

Table of contents

Table of Contents for | Children’s Health Issues in Historical Perspective
edited by Cheryl Krasnick Warsh and Veronica Strong-Boag Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Spotlight on Children | Cheryl Krasnick Warsh and Veronica Strong-Boag
Vegetables on Parade: American Medicine and the Child Health Movement in the Jazz Age | Naomi Rogers
No More Surprising than a Broken Pitcher? Maternal and Child Health in the Early Years of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau | Anne-Emmanuelle Birn
Entre la “Revanche” et la “Veillée” des berceaux: Les médecins québécois francophones, la mortalité infantile et la question nationale, 1910–1940 | Denyse Baillargeon
Infant Ideologies: Doctors, Mothers, and the Feeding of Children in Australia, 1880–1910 | Lisa Featherstone
Perpetually Malnourished? Diet, Health, and America’s Young in the Twentieth Century | Judith Sealander
The Early Development of Nutrition Policy in Canada | Aleck Ostry
Racial and Ethnic Dimensions
Caring for the Foreign-Born: The Health of Immigrant Children in the United States, 1890–1925 | Howard Markel
La médicalisation de la mère et de son enfant: L’exemple du Vietnam sous domination française, 1860–1939 | Laurence Monnais
Complicating Childhood: Gender, Ethnicity, and “Disadvantage” within the New Zealand Children’s Health Camps Movement | Margaret Tennant
Race, Class, and Health: School Medical Inspection and “Healthy” Children in British Columbia, 1890–1930 | Mona Gleason
Ordering the Bath: Children, Health and Hygiene in Northern Canadian Communities, 1900–1970 | Myra Rutherdale
Physician Denial and Child Sexual Abuse in America, 1870–2000 | Hughes Evans
“Living Symptoms”: Adolescent Health Care in English Canada, 1920–1970 | Cynthia Comacchio
The Iconography of Child Public Health: Between Medicine and Reform | Janet Golden
La contribution de l’Hôpital Saint-Paul et de l’Alexandra Hospital à la lutte contre les maladies contagieuses infantiles à Montréal, 1905–1934 | Marie-Josée Fleury and Guy Grenier
The Architecture of Children’s Hospitals in Toronto and Montreal, 1875–2010 | Annmarie Adams and David Theodore
Frontier Health Services for Children: Alberta’s Provincial Travelling Clinic, 1924–1942 | Sharon L. Richardson
Selected Bibliography
List of Contributors
Contributors’ Bios
CHERYL KRASNICK WARSH teaches history at Malaspina University-College in Nanaimo, British Columbia, and is editor-in-chief of the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin canadien d’histoire de la médecine. She is the author of Moments of Unreason: The Practice of Canadian Psychiatry and the Homewood Retreat, 1883-1923 and the forthcoming Women’s Health in North America, 1800-2000.
VERONICA STRONG-BOAG is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a former president of the Canadian Historical Association and teaches in Women’s Studies and Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia. She is the author of Finding Families, Finding Ourselves: English Canada Confronts Adoption from the 19th Century to the 1990s (forthcoming) and, with Carole Gerson, Paddling Her Own Canoe: The Times and Texts of E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake).
ANNMARIE ADAMS is an associate professor in the School of Architecture at McGill University. She is the author of Architecture in the Family Way: Women, Houses, and Doctors, 1870–1900 and co-author of Designing Women: Gender and the Architectural Profession.
DENYSE BAILLARGEON est professeure au département d’histoire de l’Université de Montréal. Elle est l’auteure de Un Québec en mal d’enfants: La médicalisation de la maternité, 1910-1970.
ANNE-EMANUELLE BIRN is Canada Research Chair in International Health at the University of Toronto. Her forthcoming book is Marriage of Convenience: Rockefeller International Health and Revolutionary Mexico.
CYNTHIA COMACCHIO teaches history at Wilfrid Laurier University; her forthcoming book is The Dominion of Youth: Adolescence in English Canada, 1920–1950.
HUGHES EVANS, MD, PhD, is a practising general pediatrician and a medical historian. Her historical interest in child sexual abuse is complemented by clinical practice in that area.
LISA FEATHERSTONE is a member of the Department of Modern History at Macquarie University, Sydney, where she teaches gender history and Australian history. Her research interests include reproduction, pediatrics, and sexuality.
MARIE-JOSéE FLEURY est professeur adjoint au Département de psychiatrie de l’Université McGill et chercheur au Centre de recherche de l’Hôpital Douglas à Montréal. Elle etait publié au Ruptures, Revue transdisciplinaire en santé, Health Services management Research, et The International Journal of Health Planning and Management.
MONA GLEASON is a faculty member in Educational Studies, University of British Columbia, the author of Normalizing the Ideal: Psychology, Schooling, and the Family in Postwar Canada, and co-editor of Children, Teachers, and School in the History of British Columbia, 2nd Edition and Rethinking Canada: The Promise of Women’s History, 4th Edition.
JANET GOLDEN teaches history at Rutgers University, Camden, and is the author of Message in a Bottle: The Making of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. She is currently working on a history of children’s experiences of illness in the United States from 1865 to 1945.
GUY GRENIER détient un doctorat en histoire de la médecine à l’Université de Montréal. Il est présentement agent de recherche au l’Hôpital Douglas à Montréal. Il etait publié Les monstres, les fous et les autres, et Cent ans de médecine francophone, Histoire de l’Association des médecins de langue française du Canada.
HOWARD MARKEL, MD, PhD is the George E. Wantz Professor of the History of Medicine and professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases at the University of Michigan, where he directs the Center for the History of Medicine. He is the author of When Germs Travel and Quarantine! East European Jewish Immigrants and the New York City Epidemics of 1892, and co-editor of Formative Years: Children’s Health in the United States, 1880–2000.
LAURENCE MONNAIS is an assistant professor, Department of History and Centre for East Asian Studies, University of Montreal. Her first book was entitled, Médecine et colonisation. L’aventure indochinoise, 1869–1939.
ALECK OSTRY is an associate professor in the Department of Healthcare and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Colum- bia, and is the recipient of a Canadian Institute for Health Research New Investigator award.
SHARON L. RICHARDSON, past president of the Alberta Association of Registered Nurses, is an associate professor of Nursing, University of Alberta.
NAOMI ROGERS is an associate professor in the History of Medicine and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Yale University. She is the author of Dirt and Disease: Polio before FDR and An Alternative Path: The Making and Remaking of Hahnemann Medical School and Hospital in Philadelphia.
MYRA RUTHERDALE is the author of Women and the White Man’s God: Gender and Race in the Canadian Mission Field and an assistant professor of history at York University in Toronto.
JUDITH SEALANDER is a professor of history at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio. She is the author of five books, most recently The Failed Century of the Child: Governing America’s Young in the Twentieth Century.
MARGARET TENNANT is a professor of history at Massey University, New Zealand. She has primarily published in the areas of women’s and welfare history, and recently co-edited Past Judgement: Social Policy in New Zealand History.
DAVID THEODORE is a research associate on the project Medicine by Design at the School of Architecture, McGill University. He is a regular contributor to Azure, Architecture, and Canadian Architect.


From sentimental stories about polio to the latest cherub in hospital commercials, sick children tug at the public’s heartstrings. However sick children have not always had adequate medical care or protection. The essays in Children’s Issues in Historical Perspective investigate the identification, prevention, and treatment of childhood diseases from the 1800s onwards, in areas ranging from French-colonial Vietnam to nineteenth-century northern British Columbia, from New Zealand fresh air camps to American health fairs.
Themes include: the role of government and/or the private sector in initiating and underwriting child public health programs; the growth of the profession of pediatrics and its views on “proper” mothering techniques; the role of nationalism, as well as ethnic and racial dimensions in child-saving movements; normative behaviour, social control, and the treatment of “deviant” children and adolescents; poverty, wealth, and child health measures; and the development of the modern children’s hospital.
This liberally illustrated collection reflects the growing academic interest in all aspects of childhood, especially child health, and originates from health care professionals and scholars across the disciplines. An introduction by the editors places the historical themes in context and offers an overview of the contemporary study of children’s health.


Compared with current European trends within the field, two features in particular stand out: the strong emphasis on childhood diversity and the explicitly formulated theses on the impact of national political cultures upon health policies.... The mix of commonalities and differences strongly suggests that the history of children's health has much to gain from taking up broad, systematic comparative studies, and, not least, from investigating international transfers of child-centred medical science and health policy models. The book is a good readn and should inspire both historians of health and medicine, and of the history of children and childhood; it is to be recommended for its richness, for the theoretical grounding and attention to evidence of several chapters, and, not least, for its mediation between childhood history and history of health and medicine.

- Astri Andresen, University of Bergen, Medical History, 51 (4), October 2007, 2007 November

One of the many strengths of the edited book, Children's Health Issues in Historical Perspective, compiled by Cheryl Krasnick Warsh and Veronica Strong-Boag is it international focus.... Eight of the essays are reprinted from a 2002 issue of the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History. They are worth purchasing as part of this volume, however, because of Warsh's and Strong-Boag's excellent introduction. it lucidly sketches the current methodological issues with the field of children's health history, cogently argues why the past has relevance to contemporary health and social welfare issues pertaining to children and families, and synthesizes the reasons behind why each essay was assigned to the thematic categories [of the volume]. Historians will find much of interest in this book. Children's health issues are considered in multiple dimensions and within the context of broader methodological trends in history. Children's diversity, for example, is not ignored, nor is class, race, or sexuality. Issues related to power, the State, the development of voluntary organizations and private philanthropy, colonialism, and the many ways in which childhood can be `constructed' are also explicated. Clinicians will find most of the articles accessibly written, and the Introduction speaks directly to why those more interested in contemporary children's health care delivery should consider its historical context. For a student new to the field of children's health historiography, this book is an excellent foundation through which to garner familiarity with the field.

- Cindy Connolly, Yale University School of Nursing, Nursing History Review, 2008, 2007 October

The value of the collection ... resides ... in its bringing together in one place a collection of work large and broad enough to provide a substantive and comparative overview not only of child health and health services in the past, but also of the issues and approaches being explored by historians working in the field....The essays in the entire collection are uniformly intelligent, substantive, and well documented. They are also analytically sophisticated.

- Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 2006 October

This collection contains examples of the best scholarship in this field, and will provide an excellent foundation for those interested in exploring children's health issues past and present.

- Heather Munro Prescott, Central Connecticut State University, Journal of Social History, Summer 2007, 2007 October