Tuberculosis was perceived for the first time in the early twentieth century as a major problem warranting state involvement in a national campaign for its eradication. This book examines the rise of the anti-tuberculosis movement in Britain, and the development of a new public health service and medical specialism, discussing why the campaign took the particular form it did. The importance of the study lies in its conception of medical
history not as a series of scientific discoveries and technological developments, but as an integral part of a broader social and political scene. The patient, often neglected in medical history, is given
close attention in an attempt to understand how the disease has been viewed during this century, and the impact it has had on society. Below the Magic Mountain shows that medicine cannot be understood in isolation from the society of which it is a part.
`a revised version of Linda Bryder's Oxford DPhil thesis. A superior thesis it must have been, based as it is on an impressive range of primary literature, supplemented by a well-chosen selection of interviews with individuals whose careers spanned the time when tuberculosis was still a serious problem in Britain.'
Times Higher Education Supplement
`a valuable reference book'
`well referenced and readable account of social aspects of the fight against tuberculosis in the first half of this century
British Medical Journal
`The strengths of this book lie in the area of social policy, where the research is meticulous and developments fully contextualized ... by its impressive research, its use of important new archival sources, ... and its excellent account of social policy related to tuberculosis institutions and services, this volume is a valuable addition to the literature on tuberculosis and on the health services in the twentieth century.
Michael Worboys, Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Manchester, Social History of Medicine
`A cautious and scholarly study of the unromantic character of tuberculosis and of the ineffective public campaigns organized to fight it in Britain in the first fifty years of this century ... a rich study ... There is so much of value in this book that it is to be hoped the author will return to the subject, to complete a story whose beginning she has told so well.
J.M. Winter, English Historical Review, Oct 1991.
List of illustrations, figures, tables. Abbreviations. Introduction. A national problem 1898-1918; "pickaxe cure for consumptives"; the national tuberculosis service 1918-1939; causal factors in tuberculosis; fighting infection; work versus collapse theory; the patient's view; tuberculosis and the state, 1939 and beyond. Bibliography. Index.