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Revolutionary Medicine: The Founding Fathers and Mothers in Sickness and in Health
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Revolutionary Medicine: The Founding Fathers and Mothers in Sickness and in Health

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Before the advent of modern antibiotics, one's life could be abruptly shattered by contagion and death, and debility from infectious diseases and epidemics was commonplace for early Americans, regardless of social status. Concerns over health affected the founding fathers and their families as it did slaves, merchants, immigrants, and everyone else in North America. As bot ...more
Hardcover, 314 pages
Published September 13th 2013 by New York University Press (first published August 1st 2013)
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3.60  · 
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 ·  93 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Actually I really liked this book. I'm kind of on a kick lately, picking up any histories of medicine that are more in depth, such as a couple in Civil War medicine. I was recommended this book because of the fact that I've been reading histories of Medicine, and even though the rating wasn't as high as some of the others, the author did what I like...lots of research! I enjoyed reading new things about our founding fathers and mothers. I've always admired all of these people, and I've read many ...more
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: social-history
This was a health history of some of the founding fathers - Washington's years in his presidency are particularly eye opening. These men were in constant health turmoil, with very little to help them. Medical practice was really managed at home by family and community with doctors summoned only in extreme cases.

Some of the book becomes repetitious, but it is still worth a read to understand what life was really like in the early years of our republic.
Kate Sherrod
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Actually DNF but reading challenge.
I found this ultimately disappointing mostly because ur was really repetitive and so felt padded. It's interesting that so many Founders were early proponents of vaccination, but aside from that this is mostly a series of miniature biographies that just focus on each personality's medical history. Meh.
Charles Hoffman
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A worthwhile read with a great deal of detail and, IMHO, an excess of Jefferson health details. Good research by the author provides the reader with copious details regarding early medical practice. So glad the medical profession finally moved beyond the preferred/customary treatment of bleeding and purging!
Martha Fewell
So glad to live now.
Kay Deal
It was ok

It started out strong but got a bit thin in the last half ... interesting historical medically related information I was not aware ... just lost interest by the last half
Cecilia Jones
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I enjoyed reading about the founding fathers and medicines, treatments of the time. Some sections were very dry. The author researched the material very, very well.
Ariel Marie
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
You know, I actually only really liked the introduction and the part about George Washington. This helped add more stories to my tour about some famous people in history.
I’ll admit that this book was very dry. It seemed more like a textbook I was forced to read in college during my “Disease and Society” elective.

The book is generally divided into chapters based on how each of the founding fathers and spouses (the Washingtons, the Adamses, Thomas Jefferson, the Madisons, and Benjamin Franklin) viewed and used medicine during their time. I was surprised that Jefferson and Franklin were as forward-thinking as they were, yet still managed to employ (in Franklin’s ca
Aug 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-work, history
Revolutionary Medicine guides readers through the health and medical world of eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. Abrams examines how George and Martha Washington, John and Abigail Adams, Benjamin Franklin, James and Dolley Madison, and Thomas Jefferson understood disease and how periods of health and sickness factored into their lives and political works.

As Thomas A. Foster demonstrated in Sex and the Founding Fathers, each generation of Americans has tried to understand the personal li
This book did have some interesting information about the Founding Fathers and healthcare. However, if you are looking to find what our founders might think of the Affordable HealthCare Act/Obamacare you will find the book a disappointment. The problem is not so much the book itself but the idea of universal health insurance was not in the mindset of the time-I don’t think health insurance even existed at the time. However, it did have some interesting information about the founding fathers and ...more
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