This book examines the remarkable decline of mortality in Europe which began in the 19th century and continued in an uninterrupted fashion, into the early 20th century. During this period there was almost a simultaneous decline in both fertility and mortality in Europe which has long since fascinated historians and demographers. Though transition of fertility is now understood, the same cannot be said for mortality, despite its importance. The transition of mortality between 1870 and 1920 had profound effects for European and American societies. This volume brings to light the different positions held by scholars on such strategic issues as nutrition, income levels and living standards, public health, social organization, and scientific advances. This study will be of particular interest to demographers, social and economic historians, epidemiologists, and postgraduate and advanced undergraduate students of these subjects.
'Economic historians can obviously contribute a lot to this research agenda, and they would do well to start with this volume; those who miss this opportunity will be deprived of an intellectual feast.'
John Komlos, University of Pennsylvania, Journal of Economic History, March 1993
'These authors pay close attention to the quality of data, and the book is valuable for its descriptive material alone. The broad comparative work in this volume is clearly needed to sort out the particular from the general and therefore is valuable.'
Gretchen A. Condran, Temple University, Contemporary Sociology, March 1993
`This is a welcome book ... What emerges from this readable and compelling book is much fascinating detail, and a reasonably clear comparative picture of historical trends and convergence in mortality ... excellent book.'
Annals of Human Biology
'a timely and useful review of the uncertainties about the topic of mortality decline'
Etienne van de Walle, University of Pennsylvania, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Winter 1994
'This is clearly an important book.'
P.E.H. Hair, University of Liverpool, EHR, February 1995
Roger Schofield & David Reher: The decline of mortality in Europe; Alfred Perrenoud: The attenutation of mortality crises and the decline of mortality; Jacques Vallin: Mortality in Europe from 1720 to 1914: long-term trends and changes in patterns by age and sex; Graziella Caselli: Health transition and cause-specific mortality; Bi Puranen: Tuberculosis and the decline of mortality in Sweden; Patrice Bourdelais: Cholera: A victory for medicine?; Peter
B. Lunn: Nutrition, immunity, and infection; Roderick Floud: Medicine and the decline of mortality: indicators of nutritional status; John Burnett: Housing and the decline of mortality; Michael R. Haines:
Conditions of work and the decline of mortality; Marie-France Morel: The Care of Children: The influence of medical innovation and medical institutions on infant mortality 1750-1914; Jean Noel Biraben: Pasteur, Pasteurization, and medicine; Robert Woods: Public health and public hygiene: the urban environment in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; Stephen J. Kunitz: The personal physician and the decline of mortality; Index