Health in the Marketplace
Professionalism, Therapeutic Desires, and Medical Commodification in Late-Victorian London
In this highly original book Takahiro Ueyama recounts a vivid narrative—populated by long-forgotten entrepreneurs and charlatans—that accounts for the way in which socioeconomic and professional interests came into conflict among medically trained doctors, electrical engineers, manufacturers of patent medicines, and quack physicians.
Thoroughly grounded in research into health commodification in the late 19th century, this book demonstrates that Victorians had issues very much like ours today. Like us, they wrestled with ambiguities about drug effectiveness and regulation. Like us, they worried about the uncertain boundaries between science and quackery. They, too, were baffled by the competing claims of orthodox and alternative medicine. They, too, went in for massage therapy and erotic quasi-medical services. Such was reality in late-19th-century Britain, and it was the root of what we observe in our highly capitalized modern world, where profit-driven commercialism ubiquitously intrudes into the medical domain.
About the Author
"This work bursts with fine research, excellent ideas, and a superb topic. The book charts the tensions, affiliations, and conflicts between engineers, advertisers, manufacturers of patent medicines, medical doctors, and consumers of health-related services and goods. It illuminates major concerns and issues in contemporary medicine and society."—Seth Koven, Rutgers University
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