Cover for SAVITT: Medicine and Slavery: The Diseases and Health Care of Blacks in Antebellum Virginia

Medicine and Slavery

The Diseases and Health Care of Blacks in Antebellum Virginia

Widely regarded as the most comprehensive study of its kind, this volume offers valuable insight into the alleged medical differences between whites and blacks that translated as racial inferiority and were used to justify slavery and discrimination. In Medicine and Slavery, Todd L. Savitt evaluates the diet, hygiene, clothing, and living and working conditions of antebellum African Americans, slave and free, and analyzes the diseases and health conditions that afflicted them in urban areas, at industrial sites, and on plantations.

Kim B. Rotzoll, dean of the College of Communications at the University of Illinois at the Urbana-Champaign, is the author of several books, including Advertising Theory and Practice and Media Ethics. James E. Haefner is an associate professor and head of the Department of Advertising and director of the Cummings Center for Advertising Studies, also at UIUC. Steven R. Hall is a doctoral student in the UIUC's Institute of Communications Research. "In all details of symptoms and sores and cadavers, this is a meticulously researched analysis of medical and health conditions and a valuable account of the relationship between black health and white society. It is fresh and objective, and represents a major contribution to the understanding of pre-Civil War South and its peculiar institution."--Times Literary Supplement

"This impressive work contains a fascinating analysis of sickle-cell anemia, heat and cold tolerance, lactose deficiency, tuberculosis, and other ills that plagued the slave population."--Choice

"No historian writing about slavery in America should be without this masterful study. No one learning about slavery should be without it. Savitt's work is indeed the definitive work on the subject."--Journal of Mississippi History

"Medicine and Slavery will be necessary reading for all scholars dealing with black history and the antebellum south, as well as those concerned with the history of medicine and medical thought."--Journal of American History

"Judicious, interesting, well-organized and clearly written, this book sets a standard for black minority medical history."--Journal of the History of Medicine

Todd L. Savitt is a professor in the department of Medical Humanities at the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, and coeditor of Disease and Distinctiveness in the American South.

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