Physicians, Peasants and Modern Medicine: Imagining Rurality in Romania, 1860-1910 (CEU Press Studies in the History of Medicine)

Physicians, Peasants and Modern Medicine: Imagining Rurality in Romania, 1860-1910 (CEU Press Studies in the History of Medicine)

By: Constantin Barbulescu (author)Hardback

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This book provides a historical narrative about Romania's modernization. It focuses on one group of the country's elites in the late nineteenth century, health professionals, and on the vision of a modern Romania that they constructed as they interacted with peasants and rural life. Doctors ventured out from the cities and became a familiar sight on the dusty country roads of Moldavia and Wallachia, for new health legislation required general practitioners (medicilor de plasa) to visit the villages in their districts twice every month. Some of them were motivated by charity, and others by patriotism, as the rural world became ever more prominent in Romania's national ideology. Based on original research, including doctors' public health reports and memoirs, the book describes the rural conditions in Romania between 1860 and 1910 and the doctors' efforts to improve the peasants' way of life. The author illuminates a variety of aspects of social life based on the doctors' reports on the peasant and the rural world, including general hygiene, clothing, dwellings, nutrition, drinking habits and healing. He places official measures, laws, regulations, and modern norms about public health in the context of a broader modernizing process.

About Author

Constantin Barbulescu is lecturer at the Department of History and Philosophy of the Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania


TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgements Introduction PART ONE Romania Through the Eyes of Doctors 1. "Minister, I submit this report..." The Earliest Public Health Reports The Reports of District Health Practitioners The Reports of County Medical Officers The Reports of the Higher Medical Council The Reports of Public Health Inspectors The Reports of the Metropolitan Health and Sanitary Services The Reports of Doctors from Rural Hospitals The Reports of Regimental Medical Personnel 2. Doctors Remember "Having reached the twilight of life, I am haunted by memories" "Doctor, scratch me" PART TWO Medical Discourse on the Peasant and the Village 1. "Thick layers of filth cover their skin": On the Hygiene of Bodies and Clothes The Peasant, A Being Wretched in His Body ... ... And Wretched in His Clothes 2. "The majority live in worse conditions than the Zulus": Domestic Space and Health The Underground Hovel: The Scourge of the Rural Habitat Overground Homes: Clay, Dung, and Straw The "Hygienic Ills" of Rural Dwellings 3. "The peasant's only food is mamaliga": Food and Health The Peasant at the Table Mamaliga ... and Again Mamaliga The Peasant: A Reluctant Vegetarian Mamaliga, Sloth, Illness and Death The Good Times of Yesteryear Our Daily Water 4. "Is the Romanian an alcoholic?": Alcohol and Health The Peasant and His Bottle "Alcoholism: From Birth till Death" The "Hazards of Alcoholism" Against Drunkenness 5. "Pellagra, the tragedy of our peasant": An Illness is Born The Illness and Its Representations An Illness of the Poor A Sarabande of Statistics "Pellagra: An Illness caused by Rotten Corn" Against Pellagra 6. The "degeneration of the race and the decline of the nation": Demography and Its Anxieties The Beginning of The End Degeneration, Depopulation, Antisemitism Racial Degeneration and the Statistics of Conscription Infant Mortality at the End of the Century PART THREE Medical Culture vs. Peasant Culture 1. The Power of Medical Culture: New Laws for People Locked in the Past For the Sake of the People's Health: Laws, Regulations, Norms ... ... And the Impossibility of Enforcing Them 2. Two Mid-Nineteenth-Century Case Studies: Marin Varzaru and Stoian Buruiana Empirics, Charlatans, and Ignorance The New Order of Carol Davila The Empirics and Their Remedies Conclusions Bibliography Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9789633862674
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 300
  • ID: 9789633862674
  • ISBN10: 9633862671

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