Cover image for Pure food : securing the Federal Food and Drugs Act of 1906
Pure food : securing the Federal Food and Drugs Act of 1906
Young, James Harvey.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, [1989]

Physical Description:
xiii, 312 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF3864.526.A16 Y68 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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"Pure food" became the rallying cry among a divergent group of campaigners who lobbied Congress for a law regulating foods and drugs. James Harvey Young reveals the complex and pluralistic nature not only of that crusade but also of the broader Progressive movement of which it was a significant strand. In the vivid style familiar to readers of his earlier works, The Toadstool Millionaires and The Medical Messiahs, Young sets the pure food movement in the context of changing technology and medical theory and describes pioneering laws to control imported drugs and domestic oleomargarine. He explains controversy within the pure food coalition, showing how farming and business groups sought competitive commercial advantage, while consumer advocates wished to promote commercial integrity and advance public health. The author focuses on how the public became increasingly fearful of hazards in adulterated foods and narcotic nostrums and how Congress finally achieved the compromises necessary to pass the Food and Drugs Act and the meat inspection law of 1906.

Originally published in 1989.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Historians of medicine and public health have come to expect competent research, brilliant and insightful analysis, and lucid writing from the works of Young. Author of The Toadstool Millionaires (1961) and The Medical Messiahs (CH, May'68), Young has been the nation's foremost authority on the history of medical quackery. It was natural, therefore, for him to study the evolution of the US Food and Drug Administration, since 1906 the monitor of America's food processors and drug manufacturers. In this book, based on an immense amount of historical research, the author traces the development of the Federal Food and Drug Act of 1906, and in the process provides a major contribution to both American history in general, and more specifically to American medical history. Well written, exceptionally interesting, and historically accurate, the study is based on more than 30 years of research. It can be predicted that for many years, persons interested in studying the history of pure food and drugs, as well as the history of the Progressive Era in American history, will have to begin with Pure Food. Highly recommended for all libraries. -M. Kaufman, Westfield State College