"Kraut chronicles the medical assimilation of immigrants through a series of public health and curative initiatives... For those interested in the public and private response to immigrant health problems, this book is a great read."
Fear of the ``other'' has long been part of life in America. Historian Kraut chronicles that fear as it manifests itself as fear of contamination by new immigrants. He describes how health policy was and is used to segregate communities and to exclude classes of people from entry into the United States. In particular, he looks closely at tuberculosis, cholera, and bubonic plague and at the institutional and governmental response to health crises. Kraut also emphasizes the importance of culturally relevant medicine and how it has come into conflict with the desire to Americanize the immigrants. These are important issues today, when tuberculosis and AIDS are often viewed as outsider's diseases, as when Haitians were singled out as a nation of AIDS carriers. No other current volume covers immigration and health from a historical perspective. The material is well presented and engrossing. Recommended for all history and health collections.-- Eric D. Albright, Galter Health Sciences Lib., Northwestern Univ., Chicago
Traces the American tradition of suspicion of the unassimilated, from the cholera outbreak of the 1830s through the great waves of immigration that began in the 1890s, to the recent past, when the erroneous association of Haitians with the AIDS virus brought widespread panic and discrimination. Kraut (history, American U.) found that new immigrant populations--made up of impoverished laborers living in urban America's least sanitary conditions--have been victims of illness rather than its progenitors, yet the medical establishment has often blamed epidemics on immigrants' traditions, ethnic habits, or genetic heritage. Originally published in hardcover by Basic Books in 1994. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)