Download The Healthiest City: Milwaukee and the Politics of Health by Judith W. Leavitt PDF

By Judith W. Leavitt

Between 1850 and 1900, Milwaukee’s swift inhabitants development additionally gave upward thrust to excessive loss of life premiums, infectious ailments, crowded housing, filthy streets, insufficient water provides, and very good stench. The Healthiest City exhibits how a coalition of reform teams caused neighborhood schooling and municipal motion to accomplish for Milwaukee the identify of “the healthiest urban” by way of the Nineteen Thirties. This hugely praised publication reminds us that slicing cash and rules for protecting public healthiness leads to inconvenience, disease, or even death.
    “A significant paintings. . . . Leavitt makes a speciality of 3 illustrative issues—smallpox, rubbish, and milk, representing the bigger parts of infectious ailment, sanitation, and meals control.”—Norman Gevitz, Journal of the yank clinical Association
    “Leavitt’s learn presents extra facts . . . that advancements in sanitation, residing stipulations, and nutrition contributed extra to the general decline in mortality premiums than advances in clinical perform. . . . a high-quality contribution to the historical past of city reform politics and public health.”—Jo Ann Carrigan, Journal of yank History

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Additional info for The Healthiest City: Milwaukee and the Politics of Health Reform

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Courtesy of University of Wisconsin Press. 40 Further exploration of the urban-rural differential in Wisconsin is Judith Walzer Leavitt, "Health Care in Urban Wisconsin: From Bad to Better," and Dale Treleven, "One Hundred Years of Health and Healing 37 Copyrighted Material THE CITY AND ITS HEALTH PROBLEMS Although German and Polish immigrant wards frequently suffered the highest mortality rates, disease incidence and devastation spread throughout Milwaukee. All city wards suffered from infectious diseases.

Contemporary Milwaukee observers understood the adverse effects on people's health of overcrowding and basement living. The medical community felt helpless to stem the tide of disaster when epidemics spread through densely populated wards. Not only was isolation impossible, but proper home care in terms of ventilation, cleanliness, and diet seemed equally elusive. 24 One physician described the futility of treating diphtheria in the poorer s~ctions of the city in 1893: "We might as well confess it right straight off, that we just have to give up.

36 Copyrighted Material THE CITY AND ITS HEALTH PROBLEMS tors, still unidentified or speculative, also contributed their share. Immigrant status increased the risk of early death from some diseases, while in others it may have provided protection. Adverse urban conditions, such as crowding and lack of sanitary amenities, helped to explain disease patterns. Behavior of different ethnic groups, dietary and sanitary habits, available medical care, advancing public health measures, and a variety of other factors also defined disease contours in urban America.

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