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Every child a lion : the origins of maternal and infant health policy in the United States and France, 1890-1920

Author: Alisa Klaus
Publisher: Ithaca : Cornell University Press, ©1993.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
One of Aesop's fables tells of the fox who taunted the lion about having so few children. "Yes," the lion replies, "but every child is a lion." This dispute is particularly appropriate to Alisa Klaus's comparative account of the early history of maternal and child welfare programs in the United States and France over a thirty-year period. Klaus focuses on the efforts of legislators, physicians, and women's  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Klaus, Alisa, 1956-
Every child a lion.
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, ©1993
(DLC) 92034682
(OCoLC)26721835
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Alisa Klaus
ISBN: 9781501738678 1501738674
OCLC Number: 1112670705
Reproduction Notes: Electronic reproduction. [S.l.] : HathiTrust Digital Library, 2010. MiAaHDL
Description: 1 online resource (viii, 298 pages)
Details: Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002.
Contents: Introduction: Infant Mortality and Social Reform --
1. Pronatalism, Eugenics, and Infant Mortality --
2. Puericulteurs and Pediatricians: The Medical Supervision of Infant Health --
3. French and American Women and Infant Health --
4. American Women and the "Better Baby" Movement --
5. French Public Policy and Motherhood, 1890-1914 --
6. "Baby's Health --
Civic Wealth": The Work of the U.S. Children's Bureau --
7. "Bread, Bullets, and Babies": Saving the Next Generation in France and the United States --
Conclusion: Comparative Issues in Maternal and Infant Health Policy.
Responsibility: Alisa Klaus.

Abstract:

One of Aesop's fables tells of the fox who taunted the lion about having so few children. "Yes," the lion replies, "but every child is a lion." This dispute is particularly appropriate to Alisa Klaus's comparative account of the early history of maternal and child welfare programs in the United States and France over a thirty-year period. Klaus focuses on the efforts of legislators, physicians, and women's organizations to reduce the infant mortality rate through such measures as maternal education, the distribution of clean milk, routine medical examinations of healthy children, and maternity leaves. Her central concerns include the ways in which pronatalism in France and fears of "race suicide" in the United States shaped public and professional intervention in reproduction, and the influence of women's organizations on social policy in two different institutional and political settings. The author argues that the French population crisis, resulting from a turn-of-the-century decline in the birth rate and a national preoccupation with German militarism and its threat to France, stimulated an intense interest in maternal and child welfare that was never duplicated in the United States. She shows that because infant mortality did not have the kind of national political implications in the United States that it had in France, it provoked far less interest among U.S. politicians and doctors (excepting a small group of public health activists, pediatricians, and obstetricians). She points out that female activists' efforts to place infant care on the national political agenda in the United States resulted in the identification of these matters as "women's issues" far more than in France, with profound implications for the evolution of the welfare state in each country. Every Child a Lion will find appreciative readers among women's historians, historians interested in public health and medicine, and social and political historians of France and the United States.

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