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Deadly Dust:
Silicosis and the Politics of Occupational Disease in Twentieth-Century America
David Rosner & Gerald Markowitz

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 1991

Paperback | 1991 | This edition is out of print | ISBN: 9780691037714
Hardcover | 1991 | This edition is out of print | ISBN: 9780691047584


During the Depression, silicosis, an industrial lung disease, emerged as a national social crisis. Experts estimated that hundreds of thousands of workers were at risk of disease, disability, and death by inhaling silica in mines, foundries, and quarries. By the 1950s, however, silicosis was nearly forgotten by the media and health professionals. Asking what makes a health threat a public issue, David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz examine how a culture defines disease and how disease itself is understood at different moments in history. They also consider who should assume responsibility for occupational disease.


"Rosner and Markowitz have produced a carefully crafted history of the rise and fall of this occupational disease, focusing especially on the political forces behind changing disease definitions.... Deadly Dust comes as a fresh breeze into one of the more stuffy and too often ignored alleys of medical history."--Robert N. Proctor, The Journal of the American Medical Association

"Like all good history, [this book] challenges our basic assumptions about how the world is ordered and offers both factual information and a conceptual framework for rethinking what we `know.'"--Rosemary K. Sokas, The New England Journal of Medicine

"If there is a paradigmatic tale of occupational health--Deadly Dust is it."--James L. Weeks, Science

File created: 11/21/2015

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