Gina's Reviews > Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

Bad Blood by James H. Jones
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's review
May 14, 12

Read in May, 2012

Although a bit slow-moving at times, this is a very important book with a lot of humanity for all the difficulty of its subject matter. It makes it more comprehensible, without ever justifying, how it could happen that human beings were willingly kept untreated, and able to spread, a horrible disease. Some of those conditions are human pride of course, and a tendency to continue down a path once it has started, but it is also clear that it is poverty and a lack of education that makes these kinds of abuses possible, and the book does a nice job of conveying the broader problems to society, without forgetting the impact on the individual.

The other interesting fact from the book, which is missed in a lot of information about the experiment, is that of the original test pool, all of the men had received some treatment for syphilis, so even though the stated purpose was to study untreated syphilis, that never happened--it only prevented treatment from happening, including after better treatments became available. It is amazing and awful.

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