A Wilderness of Marshes

A Wilderness of Marshes : The Origins of Public Health in Shanghai, 1843-1893

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The successful emergence of Shanghai as a world city by the close of the nineteenth century was built upon the establishment of a modern urban base. No aspect of Shanghai's infrastructural developments was more critically important than the creation of a public health system. A Wilderness of Marshes traces Shanghai's medical infrastructure from its conception to the implementation of a Western-style public health system and a municipal government to manage it. Kerrie MacPherson details the pioneering actions of Shanghai's capitalist, professional, and religious communities who skillfully adapted the ideas and practices gaining currency in Western science, medicine, public morality, and urban circumstances to the Asian metropolis.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 362 pages
  • 139.7 x 210.82 x 33.02mm | 408.23g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • bibliography, index
  • 0739103695
  • 9780739103692

Review quote

This is a fascinating work of scholarship that sheds much light on the processes of the public regulation of the environment in a Chinese city... Kerrie MacPherson has given us an informative case study, well researched and meticulously referenced, full of insight and rich in potential for comparative analysis. Kerrie MacPherson has written a highly original book ... which provides a penetrating and authoritative view of foreign medical and health activities in China. -- James H. Cassidy, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine The scope of this book ... offers a sweeping view of the public health movement as it emerged in the West as seen through the prism of a Western outpost in the Celestial empire... While the book offers important lessons for primary care in the developing world, it should be of equal interest to the student of health policy and its history in industralized society. This book throws fascinating light on an important aspect of Shanghai's social and economic history which has hitherto been disregarded... It deserves to be read ... by a wide audience. China Quarterly The book is at once urban studies, comparative history, and modern Chinese studies. It is a solid, pioneering, and scholarly contribution. The overall thesis and minor themes have made it necessary for us to re-examine generally perceived notions about the development of Chinese cities... It is historical writing at its best. We can particularly applaud this well-constructed and original study Times Literary Supplementshow more

About Kerrie L. MacPherson

Kerrie L. MacPherson is Associate Professor of History at the University of Hong Kong.show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: 'A Most Unlikely Place' Chapter 2 The Climatological Reconnaissance Chapter 3 The Elaboration of a Medical Topography Chapter 4 Sanitary Reform: Prelude to Pure Water Chapter 5 'The Best of its Kind': The Shanghai Waterworks Chapter 6 Salus Populi Suprema Lex: The Evolution of Public Medicine Chapter 7 A Charitable Enterprise: The Chinese Hospital Chapter 8 From the Eleemosynary to the Quasi-public: The Transformation of the Shanghai General Hospital Chapter 9 State Medicine and the Experiment of the Lock Hospital Chapter 10 Conclusion: The Foundation of a Communityshow more