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The History of American Homeopathy

From Rational Medicine to Holistic Health Care

John S. Haller Jr.

Publication Year: 2009

The History of American Homeopathy traces the rise of lay practitioners in shaping homeopathy as a healing system and its relationship to other forms of complementary and alternative medicine in an age when conventional biomedicine remains the dominant form. Representing the most current and up-to-date history of American homeopathy, readers will benefit from John S. Haller Jr.'s comprehensive explanation of complementary medicine within the American social, scientific, religious, and philosophic traditions.

Published by: Rutgers University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. iii-iv


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

In 1978 Dr. Ramunas Kondratas, then assistant curator at the National Museum of American History, Division of Medical Science at the Smithsonian Institution, made a rather unique documentary film on homeopathy. Featuring Gustav ''Gus'' Tafel, who took the audience on a 30-minute tour of the largest manufacturer of homeopathic medicines in the United States, Boericke & Tafel, ''Reunions: ...


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pp. xiii-xiv

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pp. 1-4

A medical system more diverse than modern homeopathy is almost unimaginable. The multiplicity of its beliefs makes it difficult to decide whether it is a single healing system or a plural system supporting multiple practices. This complexity of character has been a part of homeopathy's leitmotif since its founding but is more prominent now than ever before. Today, there is no single perspective in homeopathic theory and practice; nor is there any one preeminent authority &mdash canonical...

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Chapter 1

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pp. 5-34

Reflecting on the history of academic homeopathy from 1850 to roughly 1900, and its precipitous decline thereafter, homeopathic authors Daniel Cook, MD, and Alain Naudé sought in an article published in 1996 to dispel the widespread belief that this earlier period represented the ''Golden Age'' of homeopathy in America. What had once appeared as ''promising and bright,'' they explained, was not homeopathy at all, but rather ''a caricature of homeopathy'' that neither...

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Chapter 2

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pp. 35-61

While academic homeopathy died at the hands of both conservative and progressive homeopaths &mdash each for different reasons &mdash classical, esoteric, or Hahnemannian homeopathy continued its journey into the twentieth century. Among proponents, classical homeopathy implied allegiance to an original and unwavering set of correct principles. It seems clear, however, that aside from an adherence to the theory of vitalism, few principles remained intact for very long. Instead one...

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Chapter 3

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pp. 63-85

The spread of homeopathy in the United States came from two sources: one professional, the other, lay. The professional route went from physician to student by means of preceptorships and didactic education, and from one physician to another through formal and informal contacts. Through the first half of the nineteenth century, the greatest number of these professionals came as converts from regular medicine. By the second half of the century, the medically trained...

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Chapter 4

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pp. 87-113

At the close of the Second World War, homeopaths at home and abroad sought to reestablish contacts interrupted by the war and to resume their collective and cooperative efforts. At the first postwar meeting of the Council of the International Homeopathic League which met in London in 1947, William Gutman, MD, of New York proposed the establishment of an International Homeopathic Research Council as an instrument for future research initiatives. The...

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Chapter 5

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pp. 115-140

Given that the term ''allopathy'' had been originally intended as a derogatory description of mainstream medicine and connoted as a therapeutic regimen no longer practiced, editor Allan D. Sutherland (1897-1980) of the JAIH urged readers in the late 1950s to desist from using the word. Originally devised by Hahnemann in his bitterness, the term ignored medicine's empirical grounding as well as significant advances made during the middle and late nineteenth century.1...

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Chapter 6

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pp. 141-151

In its summer 2002 issue, the American Journal of Homeopathic Medicine (AJHM) published a series of articles highlighting a controversy involving the question of whether some reformers had gone too far in their acceptance of ''new ideas'' and thus undermined homeopathy by forsaking ''disciplined thought and rational skepticism.'' The ideas in question included quantum theory, chaos theory, systems theory, and consciousness. Did these concepts alter the way homeopaths...


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pp. 153-173


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pp. 175-180


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pp. 181-191

About the Author

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pp. 193

E-ISBN-13: 9780813551180
E-ISBN-10: 0813551188
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813545837
Print-ISBN-10: 0813545838

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2009