Health and Wellness in Colonial America
by Rebecca Tannenbaum
August 2012, 249pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-38490-5
$70, £54, 61€, A96
eBook Available: 978-0-313-38491-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

How much has the state of health and wellness advanced in the United States over the last few hundred years? Consider the fact that George Washington’s dentures were made of hippopotamus tusks (not wood); the typically harmful “medical” technique of bloodletting continued until the 19th century; and that Anglo-American infants were commonly prevented from crawling by their parents, for fear that they would never learn to walk.

This book provides a broad introduction to medical practices among Anglo-Americans, Native Americans, and African Americans during the colonial period, covering everything from dentistry to childcare practices to witchcraft. It is ideal for college or advanced high school courses in early American history, the history of medicine, or general social history.

Health and Wellness in Colonial America covers all aspects of medicine from surgery to the role of religion in healing, giving readers a comprehensive overall picture of medical practices from 1600 to 1800—a topic that speaks volumes about the living conditions during that period. In this book, an introductory chapter describes the ways in which all three cultures in colonial America—European, African, and Native American—thought about medicine. The work covers academic and scientific medicine as well as folk practices, women’s role in healing, and the traditions of Native Americans and African Americans.

Because of its broad scope, the book will be highly useful to advanced high school students; undergraduate students in various areas of studies, such as early American history, women’s history, and history of medicine; and general readers interested in the history of medicine.

Rebecca Tannenbaum, PhD, received her doctorate from Yale University, New Haven, CT, where she is now senior lecturer in history. Her published works include The Healer's Calling: Women and Medicine in Early New England.


"These titles do a thorough job of covering broad and varied time periods, and students requiring reference material on the history of health and wellness for different eras will be well served by this set."—Booklist, December 1, 2012
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