This is a catalog of rare books dealing with 'popular medicine' in early America. Though written primarily by people with professional competence, the books described within are directed to a non-medical audience. They teach human anatomy, physiology, hygiene, sanitation, temperance, and diet; how to maintain or regain health, or how to cope with illness, especially when no professional help was available. They also deal with reproduction: how to do it, how to limit it; how to deliver and care for a baby; the special health needs of women; the closeted world of venereal disease. Physical fitness is another important part of the collection, with books on exercise, recreation and travel for health. And there are works which tell what to do until a doctor comes; or what to do in times of epidemics; of home nursing and cooking for invalids; and how to treat all manner of sickness and injury. It was generally the popular writers who emphasized the importance of preventive medicine and a healthful regimen, and the need for public sex education. In these areas, largely ignored by the regular medical profession, the popular literature made important contributions to the health of citizens and the history of medicine.
This book constitutes Volume II of a two-volume catalogue [M-Z], and represents the collective work of Edward Atwater, an Emeritus Professor of Medicine and the History of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical School.
Christopher Hoolihan is History of Medicine Librarian at the University of Rochester Medical School's Edward G. Miner Library.