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Silent Travelers: Germs, Genes, and the Immigrant Menace Paperback – March 1, 1995

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0801850967 ISBN-10: 0801850967

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Silent Travelers: Germs, Genes, and the Immigrant Menace + Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900 (Studies in Environment and History)
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this broadly researched study of the relation of immigration to medical care, Kraut ( Huddled Masses ) argues that immigrants were not themselves primarily responsible for spreading epidemic diseases. Rather, he cites the need for cheap labor, often subject to abysmal living and hazardous working conditions, as the main factor and argues that immigrants were the victims of this demand. However, Kraut notes, immigrants' health needs gradually led to the growth of independent, ethnically and religiously supported medical resources and schools to provide nurses, free lunches and playgrounds. As in the past, he concludes, the "double helix" of American concern for health coupled with the fear of new arrivals as carriers of diseases, ranging from cholera to TB, continues to limit immigration, as in the case of Haitians unjustly accused, he maintains, of being major AIDS propagators. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Fear of the "other" has long been part of life in America. Historian Kraut chronicles that fear as it manifests itself as fear of contamination by new immigrants. He describes how health policy was and is used to segregate communities and to exclude classes of people from entry into the United States. In particular, he looks closely at tuberculosis, cholera, and bubonic plague and at the institutional and governmental response to health crises. Kraut also emphasizes the importance of culturally relevant medicine and how it has come into conflict with the desire to Americanize the immigrants. These are important issues today, when tuberculosis and AIDS are often viewed as outsider's diseases, as when Haitians were singled out as a nation of AIDS carriers. No other current volume covers immigration and health from a historical perspective. The material is well presented and engrossing. Recommended for all history and health collections.
- Eric D. Albright, Galter Health Sciences Lib., Northwestern Univ., Chicago
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press (March 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801850967
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801850967
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #478,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Patrick L. Boyle on January 3, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I confess I only read one chapter. This is alas one of those books that doesn't want to show you anything or explain something to you. It wants to preach to you. I wants to make you feel guilty for what others have done.

I refuse to get my underwear in a tangle over quarantines. If pressed I would probably favor more and stronger quarantines - not open door policies. This book is only for those who want to feel guilty about public health policies.

Public health officials have long striven to protect millions by inconveniencing a handful. Sensible people thank them for that service.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ajla on December 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A necessary book I needed for a medicine class in college. It was perfect and helped me pass the class!
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Silent Travelers: Germs, Genes, and the Immigrant Menace
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