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382Southern Cultures that development when he mentions that Confederate General John Bell Hood and two members of his family were among nineteen people in Memphis who died of yellow fever in 1879, a year of no general outbreak or epidemic. Interestingly, Ellis furnishes figures to illustrate that stricken blacks had a much greater survival rate than did infected whites, yet he neglects to elaborate on the phenomenon . It is a well known fact that the sickle ceU trait protects Africans from this disease while those of European descent are at greater risk. Doubtlessly aware of this, Ellis nonetheless misses another opportunity to amplify the significance of the events he describes. The scourge prompted public health measures such as garbage removal, the construction of sewer systems, and the provision of clean drinking water. These actions did nothing to wipe out yeUow fever, although they were exceUent preventives for numerous other diseases such as typhoid and cholera. The book especiaUy detaUs the treatment of public health in New Orleans, where Ellis draws on both French and English language sources. By including Atlanta in his investigation, Ellis also shows how the mere thought of yeUow fever could bring about great sanitary improvements. Ellis successfully defends his thesis that public health made real progress in the South during the late nineteenth century. He reacts overdefensively to David Goldfield's view in Cotton Fields and Skyscrapers (1982) that the South declined in the half century after the Civil War. Although probably writing hyperbolically, Goldfield addresses overaU economic development, not public health specifically, and is concerned with southern progress relative to the nation as a whole during that period. Overall, Yellow Fever and Public Health in the New South is an excellent study of how modern sanitation evolved in the region. The narrative flows fairly well, enlivened by exciting events of the yellow fever epidemics, but EUis is sometimes overconcerned with minutiae. He occasionally clogs the story with too many names of unremarkable people serving on various committees. Good writing and thorough editing generally characterize this work (with few errors of grammar, typography, or phraseology). The notes, all at the end of the book, are numerous and often explanatory. In both the text and notes, EUis generously credits other authorities in the history of medicine and public health. He also includes an ample index. Carter G. Woodson: A Life in Black History. By Jacqueline Goggin. Louisiana State University Press, 1993. 217 pp. Cloth, $24.95. Reviewed by Nell Irvin Painter, Edwards Professor ofAmerican History at Princeton University. She is currently working on a biography ofSojourner Truth and a book on families and sexuality in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century South. The frontispiece and dust jacket ofJacqueline Goggin's Carter G. Woodson show a photographic portrait of Woodson identified merely as "in middle age." He looks past the camera , mouth set firmly in the next best thing to a scowl. The photo is retouched, but a less formal shot in the book's interior reveals what the portrait conceals, a line etched deeply between the eyes of a man of concentration who was used to beating long odds, starting with his education. Goggin says that Carter G. Woodson was the only American holder of a doctorate in history whose parents had been slaves. Reviews 383 Like the vast majority of African Americans in his generation, Woodson was born in circumstances that did not usually produce scholars. Even with hard work and ambition, his parents could not afford to let him pursue his schooling in a regular fashion . As a driven poor boy, he snatched an education, working full-time as a coal miner to support his family and himself and starting high school at twenty. He financed his undergraduate studies at Berea College in Kentucky by teaching. His 1908 B.A. from the University of Chicago was earned over the course of summers, during a single term in residence, and through conespondence (when he worked concurrently as a school supervisor in the Phihppines from 1903 to 1906). This pattern continued through his doctorate, which he completed with only one year in residence at Harvard, 1908-9. Woodson's real graduate education came in the Library of Congress...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1488
Print ISSN
1068-8218
Pages
pp. 382-385
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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