Cold War, Deadly Fevers

Cold War, Deadly Fevers : Malaria Eradication in Mexico, 1955-1975

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In the mid-1950s, with planning and funding from the United States, Mexico embarked on an ambitious campaign to eradicate malaria, which was widespread and persistent. This new history explores the politics of that campaign. Marcos Cueto describes the international basis of the program, its national organization in Mexico, its local implementation by health practitioners and workers, and its reception among the population. Drawing on archives in the United States, Mexico, and Switzerland, he highlights the militant Cold War rhetoric of the founders and analyzes the mixed motives of participants at all levels. Following the story through the dwindling campaign in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Cueto raises questions relevant to today's international health campaigns against malaria, AIDS, and tuberculosis.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 19mm | 408g
  • Baltimore, MD, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 4 Illustrations, black and white
  • 1421415569
  • 9781421415567
  • 2,181,748

Flap copy

In the mid-1950s, with planning and funding from the United States, Mexico embarked on an ambitious campaign to eradicate malaria, which was widespread and persistent. Marcos Cueto describes the international basis of the program, its national organization in Mexico, its local implementation by health practitioners and workers, and its reception among the population. Following the story through the dwindling campaign in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Cueto raises questions relevant to today's international health campaigns against malaria, AIDS, and tuberculosis.

Cueto, a distinguished and highly respected historian of medicine and public health, frames his concise, yet detailed, history of malaria eradication programmes in Mexico within a larger argument about the overall goals of, and approaches to, public health in the developing world, both past and present.--Global Public Health

An excellent case study of the mid-twentieth-century multilateral campaign in Mexico to eradicate malaria. It skillfully places the Mexican effort in the context of international political history and health policy. It is essential reading for public health professionals and anyone interested in Mexican history, the history of medicine, or U.S. foreign policy.--Bulletin of the History of Medicine

A well-crafted and complex study that offers important lessons on the history of international health and foreign aid. One of the greatest strengths of this impressive work, however, is Cueto's insight into the motivations and attitudes of the people who created the program, those who implemented it, and those who were deemed its beneficiaries.--Hispanic American Historical Review

Anyone with an interest in international development, especially in Latin America, and a belief that history holds important lessons for building sustainable efforts in international development, should read it. Cueto excels in analyzing historical processes at multiple scales, from the global, to the national, to the local.--Geographical Review

--Alexandra Stern, Center for the History of Medicine, and Medical School, University of Michigan "Bulletin of the History of Medicine"
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Back cover copy

In the mid-1950s, with planning and funding from the United States, Mexico embarked on an ambitious campaign to eradicate malaria, which was widespread and persistent. Marcos Cueto describes the international basis of the program, its national organization in Mexico, its local implementation by health practitioners and workers, and its reception among the population. Following the story through the dwindling campaign in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Cueto raises questions relevant to today's international health campaigns against malaria, AIDS, and tuberculosis.

"Cueto, a distinguished and highly respected historian of medicine and public health, frames his concise, yet detailed, history of malaria eradication programmes in Mexico within a larger argument about the overall goals of, and approaches to, public health in the developing world, both past and present."--Global Public Health

"An excellent case study of the mid-twentieth-century multilateral campaign in Mexico to eradicate malaria. It skillfully places the Mexican effort in the context of international political history and health policy. It is essential reading for public health professionals and anyone interested in Mexican history, the history of medicine, or U.S. foreign policy."--Bulletin of the History of Medicine

"A well-crafted and complex study that offers important lessons on the history of international health and foreign aid. One of the greatest strengths of this impressive work, however, is Cueto's insight into the motivations and attitudes of the people who created the program, those who implemented it, and those who were deemed its beneficiaries."--Hispanic American Historical Review

"Anyone with an interest in international development, especially in Latin America, and a belief that history holds important lessons for building sustainable efforts in international development, should read it. Cueto excels in analyzing historical processes at multiple scales, from the global, to the national, to the local."--Geographical Review
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Table of contents

Figures and TablesPreface and AcknowledgmentsA Note on Sources1. Introduction: The Burden of an InfectionThe Origins and Development of Malaria Control EffortsOrganizing Principles for This VolumePlan of the Book2. Global DesignsForeign Aid and the Cold WarInternational Health CooperationThe Encounter of International Health and PoliticsConcluding Thoughts3. National DecisionsMexican Politics and MedicineMexican Malaria ControlOrganizing Malaria EradicationThe Mexicanization of the Campaign4. Local ResponsesIntercultural ChallengesAnthropological CritiqueA Provincial Doctor RebelsIndigenous ResistanceA Campaign in Decline5. Conclusions: The Return of Malaria and the Culture of SurvivalMexico's Recent Experience with MalariaThe Lessons of Malaria Eradication: Patterns of Vertical Health ProgramsNotesBibliographyIndex
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Review quote

Without doubt, Cold War, Deadly Fevers is an important contribution to the expanding field of international health history. -- Diego Armus Isis This history of malaria eradication in Mexico reveals that there is no magic bullet. Rather, there is a need for 'holistic, persistent, flexible approaches' to fashion popular support for prevention programs and an integrated public health perspective 'that entails overcoming the culture of survival.' This thoroughly researched and clearly written book shines a light in the gloom. Doody's Review Service This is a valuable book for all public health professionals. Highly recommended. Choice A well-crafted and complex study that offers important lessons on the history of international health and foreign aid. One of the greatest strengths of this impressive work, however, is Cueto's insight into the motivations and attitudes of the people who created the program, those who implemented it, and those who were deemed its beneficiaries. -- Jonathan D. Ablard Hispanic American Historical Review Dr. Cueto's superbly well-informed exploration of malaria not only as a disease but as a social economic, and human problem makes his book required reading. -- Filiberto Malagon Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine Raises questions highly relevant to today's international health campaigns to eradicate malaria, AIDS, and tuberculosis... Well researched, conceptualized and executed. The work is a welcome and significant contribution to the field of the history of public health as well as a critical guide for public health practitioners who seek more beneficial global health paradigms. -- Alexandra Puerto Contra Corriente Should be compulsory reading for public health officials. -- Thomes P. Weber British Journal for the History ofScience This new work is a model of its kind. -- Christopher Abel Journal of Latin American Studies Cueto's book is significant in that it pushes scholars in several disciplines to acknowledge the power that health and disease have in reformulating our understanding of threats during the Cold War, and, notably, in our times. -- Gabriela Soto Laveaga Review of Policy Research As one might expect from a scholar of the standing of Marcos Cueto, this book is a richly documented work, presenting a solid argument and well-constructed ideas. It explores an interesting though neglected and at times misunderstood period in Mexican history, that of the Cold War. -- Natalia Priego Bulletin of Latin American Research Cueto, a distinguished and highly respected historian of medicine and public health, frames his concise, yet detailed, history of malaria eradication programmes in Mexico within a larger argument about the overall goals of, and approaches to, public health in the developing world, both past and present. -- Julia Rodriguez Global Public Health More than just a case study of the successes and failures of malaria eradication in Mexico, Cold War, Deadly Fevers suggests what might be done to improve public health in developing nations. -- Michael R. Hall Journal of Third World Studies Anyone with an interest in international development, especially in Latin America, and a belief that history holds important lessons for building sustainable efforts in international development, should read it. Cueto excels in analyzing historical processes at multiple scales, from the global, to the national, to the local. -- Eric D. Carter Geographical Review A meticulously researched, succinct, and artfully crafted narrative about malaria eradication in Mexico during the Cold War. -- Heather L. McCrea Journal of Historical Geography An excellent case study of the mid-twentieth-century multilateral campaign in Mexico to eradicate malaria. It skillfully places the Mexican effort in the context of international political history and health policy. It is essential reading for public health professionals and anyone interested in Mexican history, the history of medicine, or U.S. foreign policy. -- Ann Zulawski Bulletin of the History of Medicine
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About Marcos Cueto

Marcos Cueto is a professor in the department of sociomedical sciences, School of Public Health, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima. A historian with a Ph.D. from Columbia University, he has specialized in the history of public health in Latin America, with work on HIV/AIDS, malaria, the Pan American Health Organization, and the Rockefeller Foundation. He was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 2004-2005.
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Rating details

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3.37 out of 5 stars
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3 50% (4)
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