How Cancer Crossed the Color Line
How Cancer Crossed the Color Line
How Cancer Crossed the Color Line
Price: $15.65 FREE for Members
Type: eBook
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Page Count: 262
Format: pdf
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0195170172
ISBN-13: 9780195170177

How Cancer Crossed the Color Line download


Keith Wailoo download


Wailoo (The Troubled Dream of Genetic Medicine) uses breast cancer as a prism to look at how gender, race, and economic class not only determines the availability of medical treatment but also the way disease is defined. Referencing literary and medical sources, he shows how views of cancer have changed over the course of a century; statistics from the 1920s, for instance, showed that affluent white women had the highest mortality rate from cancer, having moved from ninth place at the beginning of the century, to sixth. One explanation given at the time was a "growing female political and economic independence" that allowed them to have fewer children and to bottle feed rather than nurse them. By contrast, blacks were considered to be leading a more natural, "primitive" existence believed at the time to be free of the "stresses of modern life" and intrinsically healthier. Urbanization and the Civil Rights movement introduced reforms like Medicare and Medicaid, opening treatment to the poor; the statistical gap has steadily decreased since. Wailoo also explores the transformation of the paternalistic doctor/patient relationship from the 1920s-when doctors routinely lied to patients with fatal ailments-to the present. A nuanced study of a complex subject.
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"Wailoo takes what already would have been an interesting, straightforward account of how racial perceptions of cancer changed over time and elevates it to a moving and humane examination of cancer's role in shaping American identity." --Journal of American History


"Wailoo reminds us of how American culture has shaped our awareness of this diseaseand why knowing this history matters. His book provides a very useful, teachable, and thoughtful commentary on America's endless war on cancer; that war's more hidden racial and gender dimensions; and some of the reasons why we often seem, despite the endless media hyping of breakthroughs, not to be winning this struggle."
-Susan M. Reverby, Health Affairs


"Keith Wailoo is the premier historian of the politics of medicine in America as it relates to the doings and sufferings of Black people. This book is a gem; it is vintage Wailoo-brilliant, rigorous and relevant!"-Cornel West, Princeton University


"A model of how to seamlessly weave together the complex intersectionality of class, gender and race. How Cancer Crossed the Color Line is a masterful account of how the reward structures of science funding, the profession of medicine, era-specific cultural stereotypes of women's 'proper place,' and shifting notions of racialized bodies have all converged to shape our views of who is at risk for cancer, and why."-Troy Duster, New York University


"Keith Wailoo deftly and provocatively places medical and public health studies into conversation with films, novels, and autobiographical narratives. In so doing, he offers a stunning historical account of the dramatic shifts in popular and epidemiological consciousness about cancer and racial difference. It is an account that provides a much-needed historical context to contemporary debates in the genomic sciences about race and racial difference."-Michael Omi, University of California, Berkeley


"Illuminating changing scientific and popular conceptions about who is at risk of cancer and why, How Cancer Crossed the Color Line compellingly argues that the answer to this question--and the epidemiologic data that underpins it are together shaped as much if not more by the racial, class, gender and broader political ideologies and conflicts of the times as by the actual occurrence--detected or not--of cancer itself. Offering rich detail and insightful examples, Wailoo provides an eye-opening account of the making and contesting of scientific knowledge that is essential reading for anyone engaged in cancer research, prevention, and treatment or concerned about health inequities more broadly."--Nancy Krieger, Harvard School of Public Health


"A nuanced study of a complex subject." --Publishers Weekly



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