Examining medical pluralism in the United States from the Revolutionary War period through the end of the twentieth century, Hans Baer brings together in one convenient reference a vast array of information on healing systems as diverse as Christian Science, osteopathy, acupuncture, evangelical faith healing, Santeria, southern Appalachian herbalism, and Navajo healing. In a country where the dominant paradigm of biomedicine (medical schools, research hospitals, clinics staffed by M.D.s and R.N.s) has been long established and supported by laws and regulations, the continuing appeal of other medical systems and subsystems bears careful consideration. Distinctions of class, Baer emphasizes, as well as differences in race, ethnicity, and gender, are fundamental to the diversity of beliefs, techniques, and social organizations represented in the phemen of medical pluralism. Baer traces the simultaneous emergence in the nineteenth century of formalized biomedicine and of homeopathy, botanic medicine, hydropathy, Christian Science, osteopathy, and chiropractic. He examines present-day osteopathic medicine as a system parallel to biomedicine; chiropractic, naturopathy, and acupunctur
Hans A. Baer is professor of anthropology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He is the author or editor of eight books on anthropological aspects of race, religion, medicine, and East German society, including Encounters with Biomedicine: Case Studies in Medical Anthropology.