Originally published in 1943, Civilization and Disease was based on a series of lectures that the medical historian Henry E. Sigerist delivered at Cornell University in 1940. Now back in print, the book is a wide-ranging account of the importance of social factors on health and illness and the impact that disease has had on societies throughout human history. Despite considerable advances in both medicine and historiography, Civilization and Disease remains a landmark work in the history of medicine and a fascinating look at, first, civilization as a factor in the genesis and spread of disease, and second, the effects of disease on such aspects of civilization as economics, social life, law, philosophy, religion, science, and the arts. In a new foreword written for this edition, Elizabeth Fee outlines Sigerist's life, works, and legacy as a historian, a teacher, and an advocate for universal health care, hailing Civilization and Disease as "an excellent introduction to Sigerist's work."
Henry E. Sigerist
with a new foreword by Elizabeth Fee