Hardback
February 1, 2008
9780801886966
English
224
3 halftones, 7 line drawings
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
.85 Pounds (US)
.85 Pounds (US)
$45.00 USD, £33.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
December 29, 2010
9781421402383
English
224
3 halftones, 7 line drawings
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
$45.00 USD, £33.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Intensely Human

The Health of the Black Soldier in the American Civil War

Black soldiers in the American Civil War were far more likely to die of disease than were white soldiers. In Intensely Human, historian Margaret Humphreys explores why this uneven mortality occurred and how it was interpreted at the time. In doing so, she uncovers the perspectives of mid-nineteenth-century physicians and others who were eager to implicate the so-called innate inferiority of the black body.

In the archival collections of the U.S. Sanitary Commission, Humphreys found evidence that the high death rate among black soldiers resulted from malnourishment, inadequate shelter and clothing, inferior medical attention, and assignments to hazardous environments.

While some observant physicians of the day attributed the black soldiers' high mortality rate to these circumstances, few medical professionals—on either side of the conflict—were prepared to challenge the "biological evidence" of white superiority. Humphreys shows how, despite sympathetic and responsible physicians' efforts to expose the truth, the stereotype of black biological inferiority prevailed during the war and after.

About the Author

Margaret Humphreys is the Josiah Charles Trent Professor in the History of Medicine, a professor of history, and an associate clinical professor of medicine at Duke University. She is the author of Malaria: Poverty, Race, and Public Health in the United States, also published by Johns Hopkins.

Reviews

"Fills a void in the literature on the health of black soldiers in the war."—James M. Schmidt, Civil War News

"We still have much to learn from the Civil War as we confront issues of race, socioeconomic status, and health in 2008 and beyond."—Sarah B. Dine, Health Affairs

"Intensely Human is a well written, valuable work."—A. A. Nofi, The NYMAS Review

"It is hard to imagine that any scholar today could research a topic on the Civil War that others have not address previously. Margaret Humphreys . . . has done just that . . .Humphrey's depth of knowledge in modern medical science informs this book at every turn, allowing a reader to understand the physiological implications of what she reveals."—Sally G. McMillen, Civil War Book Review

"Its lucid, balanced interpretation makes it an excellent primer on tough issues of race, medical thought, and medical practice."—Steven M. Stowe, American Historical Review

"Well written, interesting, and informative. The narrative is honest and straightforward, and Intensely Human gives readers some insight into current health disparities."—Lynn C. Smitherman, MD, JAMA

"[Humphreys] underscores the callousness, corruption, disrespect, incompetence, and neglect by government medical officials toward black soldiers."—Choice

"Intensely Human is a meticulously researched and well-written book."—LTC Roger D. Cunningham, on Point

"Intensely Human fills a void in the emerging study of medical treatment for black soldiers."—Rhonda M. Kohl, Arkansas Historical Quarterly

"Shows how a careful regard for both historical thought and the historical record can deepen our understanding of racial disparities in health and health care."—Sarah B. Dine, Health Affairs

"A valuable examination of an important topic. The text merits reading by those interested in the Civil War, the medical history of the conflict, and in the military service of African Americans."—Tom Phillips, Journal of America's Military Past

"A major strength of Intensely Human is Humphrey's careful attention to how the struggles of African American soldiers with disease and illness were contextual."—Chad L. Williams, Journal of African American History

"Provides a compelling insight."—Teresa M. O'Neill, RNC, PhD, Nursing History Review

"Mary Humphreys has written a thoroughly researched and intrinsically valuable study which is assured to enrich knowledge and understanding of the racialized nature of Civil War treatment."—Cheryl Wells, Journal of Social History

The Johns Hopkins University Press

9780801886966 : intensely-human-humphreys
Hardback
224 Pages
$45.00 USD
9781421402383 : intensely-human-humphreys
Electronic book text
224 Pages
$45.00 USD

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Marrow of Tragedy

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