Cover for SMITH: Japanese American Midwives: Culture, Community, and Health Politics, 1880-1950. Click for larger image
Ebook Information

Japanese American Midwives

Culture, Community, and Health Politics, 1880-1950

The separate but unequal politics of health affecting American minority women

In the late nineteenth century, midwifery was transformed into a new woman's profession as part of Japan's modernizing quest for empire. With the rise of Japanese immigration to the United States, Japanese midwives (sanba) served as cultural brokers as well as birth attendants for Issei women. They actively participated in the creation of Japanese American community and culture as preservers of Japanese birthing customs and agents of cultural change.

The history of Japanese American midwifery reveals the dynamic relationship between this welfare state and the history of women and health. Midwives' individual stories, coupled with Susan L. Smith's astute analysis, demonstrate the impossibility of clearly separating domestic policy from foreign policy, public health from racial politics, medical care from women's care giving, and the history of women and health from national and international politics. By setting the history of Japanese American midwives in this larger context, Smith reveals little-known ethnic, racial, and regional aspects of women's history and the history of medicine.

"Japanese American Midwives makes several important contributions to Asian American history, women's history, and the history of medicine."--The Journal of American History

"A fascinating tale of the lives of some remarkable pioneer women in the far West . . . a very useful primer on some of the historical forces that continue to shape the gendered nature of reproductive health care and public health policy in our nation today."--Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health

"The book deepens our understanding of the history of midwifery, broadening its scope to an international level to include foreign policy and imperialism."--American Historical Review

"Alters and enriches our understandings of these histories. . . . Well written, well researched, and a pleasure to read."--Journal of Social History

"Susan Smith has once again made a significant contribution to the history of midwifery in the United States. . . . The beautifully written narrative and smart analysis is relevant to multiple fields of historical study."--Nursing History Review

"Brilliantly researched, Japanese American Midwives is an important contribution to the history of midwifery and women’s health care. The midwives’ life stories make fascinating reading, and Smith’s analysis of World War II is riveting. Japanese American Midwives is a poignant reminder of the ways in which the most private of women’s experiences - childbirth - is shaped by racial politics, foreign policy, and war. An impressive piece of work."--Molly Ladd-Taylor, coeditor of Women, Health and Nation: Canada and the United States Since 1945

“This path-breaking book draws on the story of Japanese-American midwives to illustrate the complexity of racial, ethnic, and professional taxonomies. Professional standing, culture and ethnicity, local traditions, and immigrant status all are significant in the historical process of creating the meanings of midwifery. Susan Smith's insightful and compelling book expands the horizons of what we know about the practice of midwifery in this country and is a must read for social historians, women's historians, and historians of medicine.”--Judith Leavitt, editor of Women and Health in America: Historical Readings

"Japanese American Midwives is a model of how to weave together historical accounts that do not usually talk with one another. Her blend of medical, military, and women's history traverses the Pacific, offering full-bodied characters and smart analysis that will be of interest to scholars, medical practitioners, and lay readers all."--Laura McEnaney, Civil Defense Begins at Home: Militarization Meets Everyday Life in the Fifties

Susan L. Smith is an associate professor of history at the University of Alberta, Canada, and author of the award- winning Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired: Black Women's Health Activism in America, 1890-1950.

To order online:
http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/33hek5nr9780252030055.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
Undercover Asian

Multiracial Asian Americans in Visual Culture

Leilani Nishime

Holding Up More Than Half the Sky

Chinese Women Garment Workers in New York City, 1948-92

Xiaolan Bao

Feminist Teacher

Edited by Editorial Collective

Unbound Spirit

Letters of Flora Belle Jan

Flora Belle Jan

Legitimizing Empire

Filipino American and U.S. Puerto Rican Cultural Critique

Faye Caronan

In Pursuit of Gold

Chinese American Miners and Merchants in the American West

Sue Fawn Chung

Building Filipino Hawai‘i

Roderick N. Labrador

Virtual Homelands

Indian Immigrants and Online Cultures in the United States

Madhavi Mallapragada

Islanders in the Empire

Filipino and Puerto Rican Laborers in Hawai‘i

JoAnna Poblete

Immigrant Women Workers in the Neoliberal Age

Edited by Nilda Flores-González, Anna Romina Guevarra, Maura Toro-Morn, and Grace Chang

Chinese in the Woods

Logging and Lumbering in the American West

Sue Fawn Chung

The Minor Intimacies of Race

Asian Publics in North America

Christine Kim

Nikkei Baseball

Japanese American Players from Immigration and Internment to the Major Leagues

Samuel O. Regalado

 
Japanese American Midwives ebook is available for immediate download from the following vendors:
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Google Play