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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Medicine and Empire


ISBN 9780230276352
Publication Date December 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave

A comprehensive overview of the history of medicine and European imperialism from the seventeenth to the mid-twentieth century. Drawing on recent scholarship, the text comparatively examines the key developments that took place within colonialism and medicine and explores the main historiographical issues surrounding the topics.

Pratik Chakrabarti is Reader in History at the University of Kent, UK. He is the author of Western Science in Modern India: Metropolitan Methods, Colonial Practices (2004), Material and Medicine: Trade, Conquest and Therapeutics in the Eighteenth Century (2010) and Bacteriology in British India: Laboratory Medicine and the Tropics (2012). He is also one of the editors of the journal Social History of Medicine.

1. Medicine in the Age of Commerce: 1600-1800
2. Plants, Medicine and Empire
3. Medicine and the Colonial Armed Forces
4. Colonialism, Climate and Race
5. Imperialism and the Globalization of Disease
6. Western Medicine in Colonial India
7. Medicine and the Colonization of Africa
8. Imperialism and Tropical Medicine
9. Bacteriology and the Civilizing Mission
10. Colonialism and Traditional Medicines
Conclusion: The Colonial Legacies of Global Health


This is an extremely valuable work … it fulfils but also exceeds the requirements of a textbook, for it offers an interpretative synthesis which is of value in its own right.' - Mark Harrison, Professor of the History of Medicine and Director of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, Oxford University, UK
'The book provides a narrative history in relation to empire and situates that narrative within a wider understanding of the economic, political and military functions of empire; it introduces readers to the rich and varied historiography surrounding this topic; and provides a long background to the problems of contemporary medicine and international health.' – David Arnold, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Warwick, UK
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