Health and Wealth:

Studies in History and Policy

Simon Szreter

Essays seeking to bring an historical perspective to bear on today's national and international policy concerns and to present original historical research that challenges conventional assumptions and viewpoints.
Date Published :
October 2005
Publisher :
Boydell and Brewer
Series :
Rochester Studies in Medical History
Illustration :
8 black and white
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781580462167
Pages : 520
Dimensions : 9 x 6 inches

Out of stock



Today's complex policy problems cannot be understood by the social, medical, and policy sciences, alone. History is also required to interpret the present and to inform attempts to mould the future. The essays in this volume seek to bring an historical perspective to bear on today's national and international policy concerns and to present original historical research, which challenges conventional assumptions and viewpoints. In Health and Wealth the essays in Part I offer an historian's reappraisal of several of the most influential ideas dealing with the relationships between health and economic development in the post-war international policy sciences, such as demographic transition theory; the McKeown thesis; and the population health approach. Part II presents a distinctive interpretation of the course and causes of mortality change in Britain during the 'long century' of industrialisation, c.1780-1914. British history shows that rapid economic growth is a highly disruptive process, unleashing potentially deadly challenges. The key to life and death in Britain lay less in medical science or rising living standards than in the changing electoral politics of the nation's industrial cities. Class relations, political economy, ideology, religion and the public health movement were all significant elements in this story. A late-Victorian flowering of vigorous municipal government was the precursor to central state activism in the twentieth-century. Part III reflects on history to make direct contributions to contentious current policy issues. The persistence of social and health inequalities today in developed nations and debates over the new concept of social capital are addressed, along with the economic and health problems of today's less developed countries. The lessons of history are awkward and heterodox, indicating the importance of establishing state-sanctioned institutions to ensure social security, legal identity and civic freedoms in advance of measures to stimulate and open these countries' economies to global trade.

About The Author

Simon Szreter teaches at the University of Cambridge


The Population Health Approach in Historical PerspectiveThe Idea of Demographic Transition and the Study of Fertility Change: A Critical Intellectual HistoryThe Importance of Social Intervention in Britain's Mortality Decline c.1850-1914: A Reinterpretation of the Role of Public HealthMortality in England in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: A Reply to Sumit GuhaUrbanization, Mortality, and the Standard of Living Debate: New Estimates of the Expectation of Life at Birth in Nineteenth- Century British CitiesEconomic Growth, Disruption, Deprivation, Disease, and Death: On the Importance of the Politics of Public Health for DevelopmentThe Silent Revolution in Nineteenth-Century Government: The Rise of Local Government ExpertiseHealth, Class, Place, and Politics: Social Capital, Opting In and Opting Out of Collective Provision in Nineteenth-Century and Twentieth-Century BritainHealth by Association? Social Capital, Social Theory, and the Political Economy of Public HealthPublic Health and Security in an Age of Globalizing Economic Growth: The Awkward Lessons of History

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