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Hardcover | $8.75 Short | £6.95 | ISBN: 9780262201483 | 288 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 43 illus.| February 2004

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Water, Race, and Disease

About the Author

Werner Troesken is Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh and Faculty Research Associate at NBER. He is the author of Water, Race, and Disease (MIT Press, 2004).


“Troesken's definitive history of the fight against water-borne disease in large American cities shows how the public's fear of contagion made them willing to build expensive water and sewer systems that sharply reduced the disparity in black and white death rates. This book will be required reading for anyone interested in public health, political economy, demography, and the history of race relations."”
Dora Costa, Professor of Economics, MIT
“Werner Troesken's book is a meticulously argued case for a proposition that is at first far from obvious: that public provisions of water and sewage systems in American cities effected a dramatic improvement in health conditions of African-Americans, during an era when they were largely denied access to political influence and suffered extreme discrimination in other public servises. The book not only documents this claim but goes on to show the rationale behind it: namely, because whites had a strong self-interest in black health conditions, especially in cities where the level of residential segregation was low by modern standards. I consider this work a modle of scholarship.”
Gavin Wright, Coe Professor of American Economic History, Stanford University
“Werner Troesken's detailed historical and statistical analysis of national data makes a major contribution to our understanding of twentieth-century improvements in African-American health and increased life expectancy. By examining the impact of measures intended to reduce the incidence of waterborne diseases, Water, Race, and Disease raises significant issues for the study of American race relations public health and more generally the politics and economics of social change.”
Stanley Engerman, John H. Munro Professor of Economics and Professor of History, University of Rochester