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On the left So, What's New in the Past in blue lettering above The Multiple Meanings of Medical History in the bottom in red lettering. A montage of six images. The far left is a man is being beaten with a stick by another man; a third man stands to the left holding a watch, timing the beating. Next is a oman, half-length, left pose, full face; holding Cushman's Menthol Inhaler. Next a group of four physicians sit in consultation, two with walking sticks to their noses, while the patient looks on from his bed. Next a black and white half length, full face, seated at desk covered with books and papers, hand to chin of William Osler. Next a black and white photograph of Dr. Harvey Cushing dressed in medical scrubs and wearing gloves standing at the bedside of a young patient lying on their side with bandages on their head and covered with white sheets. Finally a head and shoulders photograph of Henry Sigrest in an advertisment for a talk.

HISTORY as Today's News

In the late 1960s, when science and medicine in many ways were at the height of their power, the very structure of professional authority came under question. The calm of the academy was disturbed by the civil rights, anti-war, and feminist movements, and by demands for environmental protection, occupational safety, and reproductive rights, as the younger generation declared its disenchantment with the status quo.

In this context, medical historians who had been trained in the burgeoning graduate programs of the sixties reached for a broader relevance. Emulating the scholarly standards of their mentors, they also nurtured an ideal of political engagement and sought out new audiences. They began to articulate a public relevance for the history of medicine by addressing medical professionals and policy makers, testifying before public agencies and commissions, appearing in court and in Congress, and interpreting history in popular exhibitions, magazines, films, and public television programs. The history of medicine thus emerged from the academy to become part of today's news.

Allan Brandt, historian of medicine at Harvard University, reproduced these World War II-era posters in his highly regarded social history of venereal disease in the United States.

No Magic Bullet by Allan M. Brandt open to show two pages of four veneral disease posters.
Allan M. Brandt
No Magic Bullet: A Social History of Venereal Disease in the United States Since 1880
New York, 1985
NLM Call Number: WC 11 AA1 B8n 1985, figures 16-19
Book

This article is one result of Brandt's collaborative work with colleagues in law, epidemiology and health policy. Brandt also contributed to studies on the same subject organized by the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine, the nation's most esteemed health policy advisory body.

Pages 410 and 411 of Lawrence O. Gostin, Peter S. Arno, and Allan M. Brandt's article FDA Regulation of Tobacco Advertising and Youth Smoking: Historical, Social, and Constitutional Perspectives.
Lawrence O. Gostin, Peter S. Arno, and Allan M. Brandt
"FDA Regulation of Tobacco Advertising and Youth Smoking: Historical, Social, and Constitutional Perspectives," Journal of the American Medical Association
Chicago, February 5, 1997, Volume 277, Number 5, Page 410-411
Copyrighted 1997, American Medical Association
NLM Call Number: W1 J221
Journal


Title page of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments' Final Report: Executive Summary and Guide to Final Report featuring the list of the committee members on the inside cover opposite the title page.
Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments
Final Report: Executive Summary and Guide to Final Report
NLM Call Number: W 20.55 H9 U58a 1995, Title Page
Book


Color photograph of Susan Lederer shaking President Bill Clinton's hand. At the bottom is written To Susan with appreciation and it is signed Bill Clinton.
Susan Lederer receiving President Clinton's appreciation for her contributions to the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, April 21, 1994
Photograph

Courtesy of Susan Lederer

Since its publication, Rosner and Markowitz's Deadly Dust has been introduced in court cases as evidence that manufacturers either "knew" or "should have known" the dangers workers faced in various "dusty trades," particularly sand blasting and granite cutting. A major issue in the cases has been the inadequacy of warnings given to workers. Prior to the lawsuits, only a general warning about the danger of working with silica was placed on the side of bags; since the lawsuits, detailed warnings have become more common.

Cream colored cover of Deadly Dust: Silicosis and the Politics of Occupational Disease in Twentieth-Century America by David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz.
David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz
Deadly Dust: Silicosis and the Politics of Occupational Disease in Twentieth-Century America
(c) 1991 by Princeton University Press.
All rights reserved.
NLM Call Number: WF 11 AA1 R8d 1991, Cover
Book

This historical monograph helped re-open the silicosis issue for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) of the United States Department of Labor.

Cream colored cover of Dying for Work: Worker's Safety and Health in Twentieth-Century America by David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz, editors.
David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz, editors
Dying for Work: Worker's Safety and Health in Twentieth-Century America
Bloomington and Indianapolis, 1989
NLM Call Number: WA 11 AA1 D93 1987, Cover
Book

Dying for Work is a pioneering collection of essays on the occupational health and safety risks facing American workers during this century.