In this overview of health and healing in early America, Elaine G. Breslaw describes the evolution of public health crises and solutions. Breslaw examines "ethnic borrowings" of early American medicine and the tension between trained doctors and the lay public. Orthodox medicine didn't take hold over other healers until the early 20th century when germ theory finally migrated from Europe to the United States and American medical education achieved professional standing.
Elaine Breslaw taught in the history department of Morgan State University for 29 years and is now a visiting scholar at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is the author of Tituba, Reluctant Witch of Salem.