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The Struggle for Public Health: Seven People Who Saved the Lives of Millions and Transformed the Way We Live

The Struggle for Public Health: Seven People Who Saved the Lives of Millions and Transformed the Way We Live

Current price: $29.95
Publication Date: March 12th, 2024
Johns Hopkins University Press
The MIT Press Bookstore
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The fascinating stories of public health innovators who overcame immense obstacles to improve the health of millions.

In the nineteenth century, the scourge of deadly infectious diseases permanently receded for the first time in human history while longevity steadily improved. This progress was due in large part to advances in the public health field, including improved sanitation and cleaner water. Progress in health and longevity continued through the twentieth century, again thanks in part to public health advances in safer food, access to nursing care, an understanding of health disparities, reduced tobacco use, and a global network for vaccine distribution.

In The Struggle for Public Health, Fred C. Pampel shares the stories of public health innovators who, over a period of 150 years, helped save lives and change the way we live. These engaging stories feature scientific discoveries, strong personalities, and new forms of social behavior. But these changes did not come without struggle: public health advances met vigorous resistance from vested interests in the status quo, attachment to deeply embedded but false beliefs, and the sheer difficulty of creating large-scale changes in public behavior.

This well-researched and historically grounded volume chronicles the fascinating lives of seven advocates for public health progress, including a London bureaucrat who devoted his life to cleaning up filthy streets and neighborhoods, an activist nurse who provided first-rate care and health guidance to newly arrived immigrants, and the organizational genius who overcame limited funding, bureaucratic inertia, and political infighting to deliver vaccines across the world. It features public health innovations developed by Edwin Chadwick, John Snow, Harvey Wiley, Lillian Wald, W.E.B. Du Bois, Richard Doll, and D. A. Henderson. The inspiring stories in The Struggle for Public Health offer insights on past advances and the potential for future solutions that could save lives and improve the quality of life for millions of people.

About the Author

Fred C. Pampel (BOULDER, CO) is a professor emeritus of sociology and research at the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado Boulder.