This history of health, illness, and medical care in one downstate Illinois county offers a richly detailed account, spanning more than a century of health care, from the perspectives of county residents, nurses, doctors, and public health professionals. Drawing on a wealth of oral history interviews, hospital records, and other primary documents, Lucinda McCray Beier provides insight into home management of ill health, birth, and death; nurses\u2019 training and practices; the experiences of African American healers and patients; public health provision; and other topics. By observing the history of medicine and public health through the eyes of practitioners and laypeople over an extended period in one Midwestern county, this volume offers insight into broad American experience as well as an important counterweight to metropolitan-oriented, physician-centered studies.
Lucinda McCray Beier is a professor of history at Illinois State University. She is the author of Sufferers and Healers: The Experience of Illness in Seventeenth-Century England and For Their Own Good: The Transformation of English Working-Class Health Culture, 1880-1970.