Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

Nursing Civil Rights: Gender and Race in the Army Nurse Corps

Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

Nursing Civil Rights: Gender and Race in the Army Nurse Corps

Article excerpt

Nursing Civil Rights: Gender and Race in the Army Nurse Corps. By Charissa J. Threat. Women in American History. (Urbana and other cities: University of Illinois Press, 2015. Pp. [xii], 198. Paper, $25.00, ISBN 978-0-252-08077-7; cloth, $85.00, ISBN 978-0-0252-03920-1.)

Nursing Civil Rights: Gender and Race in the Army Nurse Corps by Charissa J. Threat is a slim volume that looks at issues confronting African American women and white men as they campaigned to enter the Army Nurse Corps (ANC) on an equal footing with white women. The discrimination faced by African American female nurses that Threat examines is well known. In particular, discussions of the work of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses, under the leadership of Mabel K. Staupers during the first half of the twentieth century, are a standard feature of many nursing histories. Threat acknowledges these nursing sources, but she also presents the history of the prejudice and discrimination encountered by African Americans in a way that suggests she has uncovered their story. While the history of white male nurses is not as well known as that of African American female nurses, it is nonetheless a history that has also been explored. Threat, however, misleadingly suggests that her study presents a new perspective on male nursing history and the campaigns of both white male nurses and African American female nurses to achieve parity in the ANC.

Throughout this book, Threat claims more than she actually accomplishes. In her introduction, she states, "This study links the story of the Army Nurse Corps to critical events in the United States between World War II and the Vietnam War" (p. …

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