Cover image for "Save the babies" : American public health reform and the prevention of infant mortality, 1850-1929
"Save the babies" : American public health reform and the prevention of infant mortality, 1850-1929
Meckel, Richard A., 1948-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, [1990]

Physical Description:
xi, 302 pages, 14 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RJ102 .M43 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Reviews 1

Choice Review

The extremely high rate of infant mortality in the US has prodded sociologists, political scientists, and public health officials to study the problem and pose solutions. Meckel is one of a small group (Rima Apple, Charlotte Borst, and Janet Golden are others) who have looked at the history of American responses to infant mortality. The international community recognizes that amelioration must encompass maternal education, access to medical care and social assistance, and legal protection for working mothers. From 1850, when Americans first recognized infant mortality as a problem, until 1929, when Congress allowed the Sheppard-Towner Act to lapse, US policymakers have shifted from a comprehensive policy on infant mortality to its classification as a medical problem. It is indeed a medical problem, but Meckel argues that this categorization is too narrow to be the foundation of an effective policy. The book is meticulously researched and clearly written. (As a subtext, it also provides a good introduction to the history of the use and development of statistics in the formation of public health policy.) No bibliography, but extensive notes. Public and academic collections, lower-division through graduate. -T. P. Gariepy, Stonehill College