In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

128 Shorter Book Reviews consult county sessions records and the manuscript notes of the few judges who left them. Specialists in the history of crime will be more interested in this study than the general reader. Note Linda Kealey Department of History Memorial University of Newfoundland 1 Linda M. Kealey, "Crime and Society in Massachusetts in the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century," Ph.D. thesis, University of Toronto, 1982. Ronald L. Numbers, ed. Medicine in the New World: New Spain, New France, and New England. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1987. 175 pp. Illus. Four eminent historians of medicine have collaborated to produce this useful collection. The three long essays began as shorter papers, presented at a session on 11 Medicine in the New World" at the 1980 International Congress of the History of Medicine in Barcelona. The introduction and conclusion by the editor, Ronald L. Numbers, set the work in the context of non-medical historical literature on the New World/Old World theme. One of the decided merits of this volume, certainly a credit to the editor, is its homogeneity of purpose and structure. Each essay begins with a brief look at medicine in the corresponding Old World country (Spain, France or England): its practitioners, theories, techniques, hospitals, education and professional structure. Then follows an analysis of the diseases and environmental conditions peculiar to each Colony. Finally, the "doctors" of the Colonies are examined: their practices, the founding of hospitals and the early attempts at professional education and regulation. Original contributions of certain New World physicians are also presented. A minor theme is the testing of hypotheses that have sought to explain peculiarities and differences in Colonial medicine on the basis of the distinctive climactic and geographic conditions of Colonial life. The uniformity of purpose and structure does not in any way hamper Shorter Book Reviews 129 the individuality and colour of each writer's style or the variety of questions he seeks to answer; nor does it presuppose uniform conclusions. Guenter Risse's essay on medicine in New Spain explores the careers of a few of the early practitioners, among them the protomedico Francisco Hernandez. Some of the first medical books published in the New World are introduced, including the sixteenth-century treatises of Francisco Bravo, Alonso Lopez de Hinojosos and Agustin Farfan; many of Risse's sources on medical education and hospitals are not available in English. He concludes that the medicine of New Spain closelymirrored that of the mother country. In his essay on New France, Toby Gelfand uses the Dictionary of CanadianBiographyto generate a profile of medical physicians and surgeons as a social group. He also examines the role of religious orders, midwives and apothecaries in the organization of medical care in and out of hospitals. An authority on Old Regime France, Gelfand demonstrates that although medicine in Quebec bore little resemblance to practice in Paris, it was similar to that of rural France. Eric H. Christianson sets out to test conflicting views on the relationship of medical practice in New England to medical practice in Britain. Using tables that demonstrate the foundation and purpose of medical societies, he shows that New England practitioners used relatively sophisticated methods to solve the problems of their communities. Differences found between practices there and in England were more in degree than in type. Each essay is annotated with a wealth of references to secondary literature on the wide range of topics covered, making the subject accessible to non-medical readers with an interest in the early history of colonization. Given the current attention afforded North American medicine of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, these essays will serve those who wish to avoid making unwarranted assumptions about its roots. JacalynDuffin History of Medicine University of Ottawa ...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 128-129
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.