Academic journal article Nursing History Review

Children's Health in Historical Perspective

Academic journal article Nursing History Review

Children's Health in Historical Perspective

Article excerpt

Children's Health in Historical Perspective Edited by Cheryl Krasnick Warsh and Veronica Strong-Boag (Waterloo, ON, Canada: Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2005) (554 pages; $38.95 paper)

Although there is a growing interest in the history of children's health care, much of the recent scholarship has focused on events or individuals within a specific country. One of the many strengths of the collection of essays in Children's Health in Historical Perspective, edited by Cheryl Krasnick Warsh and Veronica Strong-Boag, is its international focus. The seventeen essays (three of which are written in French) included in this collection consider dimensions of children's health historiography in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Vietnam, and Latin America as well as in the United States.

The volume is organized thematically, and each of the essays has been assigned to one of the following categories: politics, nutrition, racial and ethnic dimensions, experts, and institutions. A central theme of each section is the enduring nature across cultures of the child as tabula rasa or blank slate. Eight of the essays are reprinted from a 2002 issue of the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History. They are worth purchasing as part of this volume, however, because of Warsh and Strong-Boag's excellent introduction. It lucidly sketches the current methodological issues within the field of children's health history, cogently argues why the past has relevance to contemporary health and social welfare issues pertaining to children and families, and synthesizes the reasons why each essay was assigned to one of the thematic categories specified above. …

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