Cholera in the United States in 1832, 1849 - Book Report/Review Example

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In the paper “Cholera in the United States in 1832, 1849” the author analyzes the book of Charles Rosenberg, which covers three periods of time spent in the United States and how the individuals reacted to it while the pandemic of Cholera was underway…
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Cholera in the United States in 1832, 1849
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Cholera in the United States in 1832, 1849
Charles Rosenberg is currently a professor at Harvard University teaching the disciplines of History of Science and Social Sciences in extension to this, he is known for his works in the fields of history of medicine and science. He has authored the book The Cholera Years: The United States in 1832, 1849 and 1866. As the title suggests this book covers three periods of time spent in the United States and how the individuals reacted to it while the pandemic of Cholera was underway.
The period depicted in the book envisages an era in time when America was still trying to stand on its feet with the aid of individualism. It was during this time when the concepts of democracy, equality and disease were still novel in the minds of the people, hence the misconception that cholera was in fact a form of God’s punishment rather than a disease. Cholera made its rounds thrice in the United States and each time it tested new boundaries of human endurance in the form of both physical and social implications.
However, it can be rightly said that this disease in fact, served as a stimulus to bring about gradual changes in attitudes of the government and society as a whole. Moreover, it transpired changes in the areas of religious thought and medicine, which were a feat in itself. It was while finding cures to this pandemic that people at least made an effort to familiarize themselves with this disease and support the quest for its eventual cure.
The author can be credited with engaging the reader into the story that he wishes to tell. As the primary source of information was newspapers and journals, it is evident that ample research was undertaken. In addition the author claims to have read over hundred newspapers for each bout of cholera, which can be supported by the well organized presentation of information and irrefutable facts. Though at times this influx of repetitive information makes the reader loses its focus.
Though the book is divided into three sections, this structure does not obstruct the progression from one period to the next. The chain of social change can be easily traced throughout the whole book. How during the early years of cholera people believed that it were only the poor and the destitute who could succumb to this disease. Whereas this misconception was corrected that it was actually due to the squalid conditions they lived in which made them prone to the disease. Also the religious preaching incorporated a strong element of promotion of public cleanliness as it had been found that poor hygiene conditions were the cause of cholera.
This book offers the best of both the worlds; medical history and cultural history. Since cholera not only affected those who had contracted this disease but the whole society. By reading this perceptive book, the reader learns almost all that is to know about the said disease also how it impacted social equality and medical care during those perilous years.
Rosenberg, C 1962, The cholera years: The United States in 1832, 1849 and 1866, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago Read More
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