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City of Plagues

Disease, Poverty, and Deviance in San Francisco

2004
Author:

Susan Craddock

City of Plagues

An eye-opening discussion of the ways disease shapes urban society

An absorbing look at the role of disease and health policy in the construction of race, gender, and class and in urban development in nineteenth- and twentieth-century San Francisco.

City of Plagues should fuel excitement and increase other geographers’s notice of the remarkable work emanating from it. There are so many grounds on which to recommend this book. It will not disappoint. The most impressive facet of City of Plagues is that it simply and brilliantly traces how the often-argued triad of power/knowledge/space actually works in a particular place, at a particular time, around a particular issue. Craddock’s research is one of the most meticulous, nuanced, and thorough monographs of critical human geography I have ever read.

Michael Brown, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

Disease may not discriminate, but it helps those who do. In this fascinating book, Susan Craddock examines the role of disease and health policy in the construction of race, gender, and class, and in urban development in nineteenth- and twentieth-century San Francisco. An absorbing look at the role of disease and health policy in the construction of race, gender, and class in urban development during nineteenth- and twentieth-century San Francisco. Susan Craddock considers tuberculosis, plague, smallpox, and syphilis as diseases whose devastations were derived in part from their use as political tools and disciplinary mechanisms


City of Plagues

Susan Craddock is associate professor in the Department of Women’s Studies and the Institute for Global Studies at the University of Minnesota.

City of Plagues

City of Plagues should fuel excitement and increase other geographers’s notice of the remarkable work emanating from it. There are so many grounds on which to recommend this book. It will not disappoint. The most impressive facet of City of Plagues is that it simply and brilliantly traces how the often-argued triad of power/knowledge/space actually works in a particular place, at a particular time, around a particular issue. Craddock’s research is one of the most meticulous, nuanced, and thorough monographs of critical human geography I have ever read.

Michael Brown, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

This book provides an engaging, readable, and well-researched account of the social, political, and medical responses to infectious diseases in San Francisco from the mid-19th century up until the present day. A wealth of material is brought together to describe, in a geographical, historical, and cultural framework, the experience, among San Francisco’s population, of diseases such as tuberculosis, smallpox, syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases, plague, and, latterly, HIV and AIDS.

Environment and Planning A

Susan Craddock explores the institutional and administrative responses to smallpox, plague, cholera, tuberculosis, and sexually transmitted diseases in the rapidly growing city of San Francisco from 1860 through the 1940s. A fascinating perspective on medical geography in a historical context.

Historical Geography

Craddock has provided a nuanced and informative historical study of San Francisco that reveals the ways in which its Caucasian leadership responded to the pressing issues generated over a century by a number of devastating diseases.

Isis

Susan Craddock’s provocative work offers an invaluable perspective on public health and the construction of race that speaks not only to the past but also to the present.

Bulletin of the History of Medicine

Susan Craddock’s City of Plagues is one of many recent contributions to a field that increasingly emphasizes the ways in which the social meanings and symbolism of disease shape policy, but her book differs significantly from much of what has been written, an it offers an important and welcome addition. Craddock is an historically minded geographer who situates disease policy within the frames of time, space, and body. Craddock’s reliance on geography and pictures also pushes that line of analysis in important new directions.

History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences