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Look Inside Public Health and Social Justice in the Age of Chadwick

Public Health and Social Justice in the Age of Chadwick
Britain, 1800–1854


Part of Cambridge Studies in the History of Medicine

  • Date Published: January 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521102117

£ 35.99

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About the Authors
  • The 1830s and 1840s are the formative years of modern public health in Britain, when the poor law bureaucrat Edwin Chadwick conceived his vision of public health through public works and began the campaign for the construction of the kinds of water and sewage works that ultimately became the standard components of urban infrastructure throughout the developed world. This book first explores that vision and campaign against the backdrop of the great 'condition-of-England' questions of the period, of what rights and expectations working people could justifiably have in regard to political participation, food, shelter and conditions of work. It examines the ways Chadwick's sanitarianism fitted the political needs of the much-hated Poor Law Commission and of Whig and Tory governments, each seeking some antidote to revolutionary Chartism. It then reviews the Chadwickians' efforts to solve the host of problems they met in trying to implement the sanitary idea: of what responsibilities central and local units of government, and private contractors, were to have; of how townspeople could be persuaded to embark on untried public technologies; of where the new public health experts were to come from; and of how elegant technical designs were to be fitted to the unique social, political, and geographic circumstances of individual towns.

    • First book to provide a thematic analysis of the structure and arguments of Edwin Chadwick's famous Sanitary Report of 1842
    • First to use 'Local Reports' published by Sanitary Report, inspectors' reports of General Board of Health and Poor Law Commission archives
    • Explores the possibility that a political medicine might have emerged as a counterweight to political economy
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'In this splendid scholarly study, Chris Hamlin offers a major reinterpretation of Edwin Chadwick and the public health movement. The consequences of Chadwick's politics are with us to the present day. This is indispensable reading for anyone interested in health and welfare.' The Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine

    Review of the hardback: 'Hamlin tells us how public health was 'invented' about 150 years ago, with Chadwick as the key actor, and tells it with such pace and excitement that it is hard to put down. Every educated person should read it: certainly all politicians, doctors, every student of public health and all concerned with international development.' London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

    Review of the hardback: 'Christopher Hamlin is among the best and most incisive innovators in nineteenth century environmental, medical and cultural history. In Public Health and Social Justice in the Age of Chadwick, he has produced a re-evaluation which will become seminal. Even more importantly, Hamlin persuades us radically to rethink and redefine what we mean when we talk about 'public health'.' Bill Luckin, University of London

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521102117
    • length: 380 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • contains: 7 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Health as Money
    2. A Political Medicine
    3. Prelude to the Sanitary Report, 1833–1838
    4. The Making of the Sanitary Report, 1839–1842
    5. The Sanitary Report
    6. Chadwick's Evidence: The Local Reports
    7. Sanitation Triumphant: The Health of Towns Commission, 1843–1845
    8. The Politics of Public Health, 1841–1848
    9. Selling Sanitation: the Inspectors and the Local Authorities, 1848-1854
    10. Lost in the Pipes

  • Author

    Christopher Hamlin, University of Notre Dame, Indiana

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