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Sectarian Reformers in American Medicine, 1800–1910

By John S. Haller, Jr.

LC 2011048742
ISBN-10: 0-404-64471-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-404-64471-0

AMS Studies in the Nineteenth Century, No. 41

Over the course of more than two centuries, mainstream medicine was able to manage the public’s perception of its clash with sectarian medicine. Even a cursory view of the language it used to compare the competing philosophies makes evident the combative nature of this relationship. Haller’s newest book, Sectarian Reformers in American Medicine, 1800–1910, suggests that to accept orthodoxy’s depiction of medicine’s sectarian reformers is a serious mistake since medical orthodoxy was little more than a sect itself through much of the nineteenth century.

The book seeks answers to a number of important questions: What constituted orthodox medical practice among the system-builders in Europe and America? What was the impact of “New World” theories on European medicine and how did they contribute to the making of a distinctive American school of medicine? In what manner did America’s reformers challenge the meaning of science and medicine? How did the publishing world become a vehicle for reform medicine? In what way did reform medical colleges transform particular notions of medicine into an authentic science? How did reform medical societies operate in a democratic culture? What was the nature and impact of Abraham Flexner’s critique of sectarian medicine in his classic Medical Education in the United States and Canada?

One of the book’s unique aspects is its complete listing all sectarian colleges, journals, and societies established during the nineteenth century.

1. Orthodoxy and American Practice
2. Old and New World Eclectics
3. Jeremiads and Apostates
4. Reform Literature
5. Reform Colleges
6. Reform Societies
7. Between the Abrahams
A. Reform Medical Journals to 1909
B. Reform Medical Colleges to 1915
C. Reform Medical Societies to 1900

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Haller, John S.
Sectarian reformers in American medicine, 1800–1910 / John S. Haller, Jr.
     p. cm. — (AMS studies in the nineteenth century, ISSN 0196-657X ; 41)
     Includes bibliographical references and index.
     ISBN 978-0-404-64471-0 (cloth : alk. paper)
     1. Medicine—United States—History—19th century.
     2. Medicine—United States—History—20th century.
     3. Health care reform—United States—History—19th century.
     4. Health care reform—United States—History—20th century.
     5. Alternative medicine—United States—History—19th century.
     6. Alternative medicine—United States—History—20th century.
     I.  Title.
RA395.A3H3435 2011
362.10973—dc23                                                       2011048742