[Book Reviews]

    Article metrics

    Abstract

    THIS little book, which is the eighth work published by the Yale University Press on the Williams Memorial Publication Fund, is the second annual lecture in commemoration of William Thompson Sedgwick, the pioneer in American hygiene, a memorial volume to whom we noticed in our issue of March 14, 1925, p. 372. Dr. William Welch, who is Director of the School of Hygiene and Public Health at Johns Hopkins University; Baltimore, shows that the justice of Sedgwick's claim that “the sanitarian needs a proper working theory” has been well illustrated in the history of preventive medicine, especially in the work of Fracastorius, Sydenham, Jenner, Sir George Baker, James Lind, Sir John Simon, and Pasteur. It is pointed out that inadequate and even erroneous theories which bear some relation to the state of contemporary knowledge may serve a useful purpose, as was exemplified by the doctrine of the so-called “filth theory” of the generation of epidemic diseases, especially typhus, typhoid, and dysentery, inasmuch as the acceptance of this theory led to a campaign for the supply of pure water, the proper disposal of sewage, the prevention of water pollution, the removal of nuisances, cleanliness of the streets, inspection of food, healthfulness of dwellings, ventilation, and proper disposal of the dead.

    Public Health in Theory and Practice: an Historical Review.

    By Dr. William Henry Welch. Pp. viii + 51. (New Haven: Yale University Press; London: Oxford University Press, 1925.) 4s. 6d. net.

    Access optionsAccess options

    Rent or Buy article

    Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

    from$8.99

    All prices are NET prices.

    Rights and permissions

    Reprints and Permissions

    About this article

    Further reading

    Comments

    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.