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The Health of the Country : How American Settlers Understood Themselves and Their Land - Conevery Valencius

The Health of the Country

How American Settlers Understood Themselves and Their Land

Paperback Published: 16th July 2004
ISBN: 9780465089871
Number Of Pages: 412
For Ages: 18+ years old

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"An original, thought-provoking book...Those who only have the time or the inclination to read a few books on the period should make every effort to read this one."- Arkansas Democrat-Gazette . In this vivid history of American western expansion, Conevery Bolton Valencius captures the excitement, romanticism, and confusion of the frontier experience as well as another, less renowned reality of settling: how terrifying the untamed wilderness of the West was to its homesteaders. In a time when good health was thought to involve perfectly balanced humors, settlers thought that the wild extremes of the borderlands disrupted the delicate equilibrium of their bodies. Valencius is the first historian to show that the settlers' primary criterion for uncharted land was its perceived health or sickliness. This is a beautifully written, fresh account of the gritty details of American expansion, animated by the voices of the settlers themselves.

Industry Reviews

"You will find yourself hooked as you read this fascinating revival of past times."

Introduction: "Healthy Country"p. 1
"Is it thriving & healthy?"
Making American Territory
"New Country"p. 15
"Wild" Land and "New"
The Literature of Settlement
"Movers" and "Improvers"
Early Arkansas and Missouri
Native Peoples
Emigration Stories, Black and White
Bodyp. 53
Medicine and the Demands of Health
Force and Flow
Intake and Outgo
"Risings" and Release
Derangement and Proper Management
Chills and Fevers
Placesp. 85
Telling the "Health of the Country"
Indoors and Out
Climate and Constitution
Airsp. 109
Reading the Air
Expertise and Common Knowledge
Change and the Perils of Human Action
Blurred Boundaries
Watersp. 133
Sloughs of the Spirit
Wondrous Waters: Healing Springs
Local Knowledge: Medical Geography and the Intellectual Hinterlandp. 159
"On the Medical Topography of Saint Charles County, Mo."
Science of the Local
The Politics of Local Knowledge
Professional Anxieties of the Periphery
Regional Boosterism and Southern Medicine
The Uses of History
Models for Hinterland Practice
Cultivationp. 191
Agriculture as Material and Moral Imperative
Farm Work
Cultivation and Sense of Self
Fertility and Generation
Changes Wrought by Cultivation
Racial Anxietyp. 229
Peoples and Places
Environmental Belonging
Vulnerability of the Racial Self
Blurred Boundaries
Proper Place: Free Black Identity
Mixedness and the Problem of Color
The Failure of Order
Conclusionp. 259
Afterwordp. 265
Archival Information and Abbreviationsp. 271
Notesp. 275
Bibliographyp. 339
Permissionsp. 373
Indexp. 375
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780465089871
ISBN-10: 0465089879
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 412
Published: 16th July 2004
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.32 x 13.34  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.45
Edition Number: 1