Picturing Medical Progress from Pasteur to Polio: A History of Mass Media Images and Popular Attitudes in America
Today, pharmaceutical companies, HMOs, insurance carriers, and the health care system in general may often puzzle and frustrate the general public and even physicians and researchers. By contrast, from the 1880s through the 1950s Americans enthusiastically embraced medicine and its practitioners. Picturing Medical Progress from Pasteur to Polio offers a refreshing portrait of an era when the public excitedly anticipated medical progress and research breakthroughs.
This unique study with 130 archival illustrations drawn from newspaper sketches, caricatures, comic books, Hollywood films, and LIFE magazine photography analyzes the relationship between mass media images and popular attitudes. Bert Hansen considers the impact these representations had on public attitudes and shows how media portrayal and popular support for medical research grew together and reinforced each other.