Cover: Rationalizing Epidemics: Meanings and Uses of American Indian Mortality since 1600, from Harvard University PressCover: Rationalizing Epidemics in HARDCOVER

Rationalizing Epidemics

Meanings and Uses of American Indian Mortality since 1600

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Product Details


$40.00 • £32.95 • €36.00

ISBN 9780674013056

Publication Date: 05/30/2004


308 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

7 halftones, 2 line illustrations, 2 maps


The book is thoroughly researched with an impressive list of references. The style is straightforward and clear. The author’s efforts are worthy and the book is enthusiastically recommended… Readers will find this book enjoyable and informative.—Everett R. Rhoades, Journal of the American Medical Association

This is an important contribution that deserves careful reading… Finely written, this well-constructed argument will reward both advanced students and the general public interested in the theme.—Noble David Cook, American Historical Review

The 50-plus pages of endnotes in Jones’s Rationalizing Epidemics amply illustrate the exhaustive data collection and primary-source review involved in the construction of this sweeping and persuasive work. His thought-provoking use of a wealth of archival evidence to support an explanatory model with regard to the meanings of catastrophic epidemics among Native Americans sets a new standard for historical research and interpretation.—Joan Weibel-Orlando, Current Anthropology

Rationalizing Epidemics is a superb work of scholarship. By contextualizing his deep and thorough research in original documents within the larger literature on the history and nature of epidemics, Jones has produced a profound account of how epidemics are social and cultural phenomena, not just biological. This book will be of great interest to scholars of American Indian history and the history of medicine, and with its engaging and accessible writing style, it promises to be a book that students and the general public will appreciate as well.—Nancy Shoemaker, University of Connecticut

An imaginative and insightful approach to health and disease among American Indians, Rationalizing Epidemics represents a remarkable accomplishment. The breadth of reading and depth of research, the subtlety used in explaining each case, and the original approach to the material are altogether impressive. Jones’s book undoubtedly will be a major contribution to American history.—Daniel H. Usner, Jr., Vanderbilt University

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