Medicine on the Periphery

Public Health in Yucatán, Mexico, 18701960

By (author) David Sowell

Hardback - £79.00

Publication date:

30 October 2015

Length of book:

230 pages


Lexington Books

ISBN-13: 9781498517348

Medicine on the Periphery examines the history of the public health of Yucatán, Mexico, from the 1870s through 1960. This book includes chapters on institutions, healers, changing patterns of disease, the biomedicalization of Yucatán, and the relationship between Yucatán and the Mexican Revolutionary government. Sowell analyzes Yucatec officials’ establishment of public health programs as a strategy for the modernization of the region, using wealth from the production of henequen to create Mexico’s most extensive public health system and subsequent tensions with the Revolutionary government. Public health programs situated the Yucatán into a complex position in the nexus of knowledge, power, and technologies of the Atlantic medical community. Medicine on the Periphery provides a comprehensive look at how Yucatán became a medical periphery, a status that made it increasingly dependent upon knowledge and technologies produced in the productive core of the North Atlantic and subject to the authority of the Mexican state. This book will be of interest to scholars in Mexican studies, history of medicine and public health in Latin America and in the Atlantic world.
The author has an impressive command of sources in diverse archives and libraries located in Mexico and the United States. . . . Sowell’s book is a sound contribution to the history of medicine in Latin America. It is a remarkable example of how skillful historical research can produce a subnational case study that is comprehensive, coherent, profound, and relevant. Medicine on the Periphery: Public Health in Yucatan, Mexico, 1870–1960 will be of great interest to medical anthropologists, historians of Latin American medicine, and historians interested in medicine in the Atlantic.