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- DescriptionNew York's lower east side was said to be the most densely populated square mile on the face of the earth in the 1890s. City health inspectors called the neighborhood the suicide ward and referred to one particular tenement-in an official Health Department report, less-as an out and out hog pen. Diarrhea epidemics raged each summer, killing thousands of city children. Sweatshop babies with smallpox and typhus dozed in garment heaps destined for fashionable Broadway shops. Desperate mothers paced the streets to soothe their feverish children, and white mourning cloths hung from every building. A third of children living in the slums died before their fifth birthday. By 1911, the child death rate had fallen sharply and The New York Times hailed the city as the healthiest on earth. In this witty and highly personal autobiography, public health crusader Dr. Sara Josephine Baker explains how this remarkable transformation was achieved. By the time she retired from the New York City Health Department in 1923, Baker was famous worldwide for saving the lives of 90,000 children. The public health programs Baker developed, many still in use today, have probably saved the lives of millions more. She also fought for women's suffrage, toured Russia in the 1930s, and captured Typhoid Mary Malone, twice. She was also an astute observer of her times, and Fighting for Life is one of the most honest, compassionate memoirs of American medicine ever written.
- Author BiographyS. JOSEPHINE BAKER (1873-1945) was a pioneering American public health physician and the first director of New York's Bureau of Child Hygiene. Her work with poor mothers and children in the immigrant communities of New York City had a dramatic impact on maternal and child mortality rates and became a model for cities across the country. On two occasions she helped to track down the infamous Typhoid Mary, the cook who had spread the disease while working in several New York households. The first woman to earn a doctorate in public health from New York University-Bellevue Hospital Medical School, Baker wrote fifty journal articles and more than two hundred pieces for the popular press about issues in preventive medicine, as well as six books: Healthy Babies (1920), Healthy Mothers (1920), Healthy Children (1920), The Growing Child (1923), Child Hygiene (1925), and her autobiography, Fighting for Life (1939). HELEN EPSTEIN is an independent consultant and writer specializing in public health in developing countries, and an adjunct assistant professor at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. She has advised numerous organizations, including the United States Agency for International Development, the World Bank, Human Rights Watch, and UNICEF. She writes frequently for various publications, including The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, and Granta, and is the author of The Invisible Cure: Why We Are Losing the Fight Against AIDS in Africa.
- Author(s)S. Josephine Baker
- PublisherThe New York Review of Books, Inc
- Date of Publication14/11/2013
- SubjectAutobiography: General
- Place of PublicationNew York
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintNYRB Classics
- Content Noteillustrations, portraits
- Weight317 g
- Width130 mm
- Height204 mm
- Spine130 mm
- Introduction byHelen Epstein
- Edition StatementMain
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