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How rabid dogs, the struggles to contain them, and their power over the public imagination intersected with New York City's rise to urban preeminence.Rabies enjoys a fearsome and lurid reputation. Throughout the decades of spiraling growth that defined New York City from the 1840s to the 1910s, the bone-chilling cry of "Mad dog!" possessed the power to upend the ordinary routines and rhythms of urban life. In Mad Dogs and Other New Yorkers, Jessica Wang examines the history of this rare but dreaded affliction during a time of rapid urbanization. Focusing on a transformative era in medicine, politics, and urban society, Wang uses rabies to survey urban social geography, the place of domesticated animals in the nineteenth-century city, and the world of American medicine. Rabies, she demonstrates, provides an ideal vehicle for exploring physicians' ideas about therapeutics, disease pathology, and the body as well as the global flows of knowledge and therapeutics. Beyond the medical realm, the disease also illuminates the cultural fears and political contestations that evolved in lockstep with New York City's burgeoning cityscape.Mad Dogs and Other New Yorkers offers lay readers and specialists alike the opportunity to contemplate a tumultuous domain of people, animals, and disease against a backdrop of urban growth, medical advancement, and social upheaval. The result is a probing history of medicine that details the social world of New York physicians, their ideas about a rare and perplexing disorder, and the struggles of an ever-changing, ever-challenging urban society.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-viii
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xiii-xviii
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. xix-xxii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. 1. Dogs, Humans, and the Uses of Urban Space
  2. pp. 11-49
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  1. 2. Human and Non-Human Suffering: From Animal Possession to the Art of Dying
  2. pp. 50-82
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  1. 3. Remedies and Materia Medica: Medical Authority, Political Culture, and Empire
  2. pp. 83-124
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  1. 4. The Lesion of Doom: Anatomical Tradition and the Problem of Hydrophobia
  2. pp. 125-158
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  1. 5. A Tale of Three Laboratories: Rabies Vaccination and the Pasteurization of New York City
  2. pp. 159-192
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  1. 6. Dogs and the Making of the American State: The Politics of Animal Control
  2. pp. 193-226
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 227-234
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  1. Appendix 1. Reports of Dog Bite Victims and Hydrophobia Deaths in the Greater New York City Area by Decade, 1860s, 1880s, and 1900s
  2. pp. 235-237
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  1. Appendix 2. A Note on Primary Sources and Methods
  2. pp. 238-240
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 241-312
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 313-322
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