Shattuck's report was widely circulated after publication, but because of political upheaval at the time of release nothing was done. The report \"fell flat from the printer's hand.\" In the years following the Civil War, however, the creation of special agencies became a more common method of handling societal problems. Massachusetts set up a state board of health in 1869. The creation of this board reflected more a trend of strengthened government than new knowledge about the causes and control of disease. Nevertheless, the type of data collected by Shattuck was used to justify the board. And the board relied on many of the recommendations of Shattuck's report for shaping a public health system. (Rosenkrantz, 1972; Hanlon and Pickett, 1984) Although largely ignored at the time of its release, Shattuck's report has come to be considered one of the most farsighted and influential documents in the history of the American public health system. Many of the principles and activities he proposed later came to be considered fundamental to public health. And Shattuck established the fundamental usefulness of keeping records and vital statistics.
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 57.2 (2002) 238-239 // --> [Access article in PDF] Book Review Major Problems in the History of American Medicine and Public Health John Harley Warner and Janet A. Tighe, eds. Major Problems in the History of American Medicine and Public Health. Boston, Massachusetts, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001. xix, 539 pp., illus. $33.96 (paper). This book is a welcome addition to the lists of textbooks suitable for courses in the history of medicine. This well-balanced anthology explores the history of illness, health, and healing in America in terms of race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, and regional differences. With its thoughtful introductions, primary documents, and scholarly essays, this book accomplishes the goal established by its editors of guiding students through a dialogue between past and present. 1e1e36bf2d