Northern Illinois University Press


Soviet Medicine

Culture, Practice, and Science

Frances L. Bernstein, Christopher Burton Dan Healey

An international group of scholars examines topics on Soviet medicine spanning the history of the USSR

“Covers a wide range of topics to tell the story of Soviet medicine as an experience, form of politics, and set of practices. More important, this book challenges the field to recognize medical history as fundamental to our understanding of the Soviet past. There is nothing else like it in the field of Soviet history.”—Kenneth Pinnow, Allegheny College

“This collection makes a significant contribution to the field. It provides important empirical information as well as intellectual insights on subjects of vital concern to all students of the Soviet period.”—Samuel C. Ramer, Tulane University

Thanks to the opening of archives and the forging of exchanges between Russian and Western scholars interested in the history of medicine, it is now possible to write new forms of social and political history in the Soviet medical field. Using the lenses of critical social histories of healthcare and medical science, and looking at both new material from Russian archives and interviews with those who experienced the Soviet health system, the contributors to this volume explore the ways experts and the Soviet state radically reshaped medical provision after the Revolution of 1917.

Soviet Medicine presents the work of an international group of leading scholars. Twelve essays—treating subjects that span the 74-year history of the Soviet Union—cover such diverse topics as how epidemiologists handled plague on the Soviet borderlands in the revolutionary era, how venereologists fighting sexually transmitted disease struggled to preserve the patient’s right to secrecy, and how Soviet forensic experts falsified the evidence of the Katyń Forest massacre of 1940. Contributing authors also examine such subjects as innovation in Soviet public health, medical expertise and the 1946–47 famine, and industrial toxins under Khrushchev.

This important volume demonstrates the crucial role played by medical science, practice, and culture in the shaping of a modern Soviet Union. Soviet Medicine will appeal to historians of medicine, science, the Soviet Union, and social and gender historians.

Frances L. Bernstein is Associate Professor of History at Drew University and author of The Dictatorship of Sex: Lifestyle Advice for the Soviet Masses.

Christopher Burton is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.

Contributors include
Frances L. Bernstein
Christopher Burton
Michael Z. David
Donald Filtzer
Dan Healey
Catriona Kelly
Dmitry Mikhel
Mie Nakachi
Irina Sirotkina
Susan Gross Solomon
Marina Sorokina
Veniamin F. Zima

(2010) 312pp., 4 tables, 2 fig.
ISBN: 978-0-87580-426-2
cloth $42.00

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ISBN: 9780875804262
 $42.00