- List of Illustrations and Tables
- List of Contributors
- Medicine and Health in the Graeco-Roman World
- Medieval Medicine
- Early Modern Medicine
- Health and Medicine in the Enlightenment
- Medicine and Modernity
- Contemporary History of Medicine and Health
- Global and Local Histories of Medicine: Interpretative Challenges and Future Possibilities
- Chinese Medicine
- Medicine in Islam and Islamic Medicine
- Medicine in Western Europe
- History of Medicine in Eastern Europe, Including Russia
- Science and Medicine in the United States of America
- Public Health and Medicine in Latin America
- History of Medicine in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Medicine and Colonialism in South Asia since 1500
- History of Medicine in Australia and New Zealand
- Childhood and Adolescence
- Medicine and Old Age
- Historical Demography and Epidemiology: The Meta-Narrative Challenge
- Chronic Illness and Disease History
- Public Health
- The Political Economy of Health Care in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
- Health, Work, and Environment: A Hippocratic Turn in Medical History
- History of Science and Medicine
- Women, Health, and Medicine
- Health and Sexuality
- Medicine and the Mind
- Medical Ethics and the Law
- Medicine and Species: One Medicine, One History?
- Histories of Heterodoxy
- Oral Testimony and the History of Medicine
- Medical Film and Television: An Alternative Path to the Cultures of Biomedicine
Abstract and Keywords
This article discusses that with a new focus on patients and the quality of care, illness experiences have become an important topic in recent years in scholarly and biographical literature, but also in the wider world of newspaper, inviting comparisons with nineteenth-century accounts of consumptive lives and deaths. This article is about continuities of consumption and tuberculosis and the historical change that has obscured them. It discusses the belief in medical progress and its power, informed by laboratory research in bacteriology and physiology, replacing the feeling of impotence characterizing earlier medical encounters with incurability. It further suggests that the continuities with consumption go beyond descriptions, shaping the ways in which we deal with chronic illness today. It concludes with reasons for the use of comparative accounts to balance the dominance of the American case in the historiography and also histories of chronic illness in the developing world.
Carsten Timmermann is a lecturer in the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine at the University of Manchester. He has worked on the history of medicine in interwar Germany and most recently on medical science and technology in twentieth-century Britain. He has published on the histories of high blood pressure and lung cancer.
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