The history of medicine encompasses the whole range of human life, society, and endeavor. In this ambitious book, Robert Fortuine leads readers through the early history of Alaska by tracing the health of its people. He presents a concise summary of the health aspects of traditional Alaskan cultures and reconstructs the best available picture of the various diseases from which people suffered up to the time of first European contact.
His narrative follows the often uneven growth of health services in Alaska, including the ships' surgeons on the earliest voyages of exploration, the unique health care system of the Russian-American Company, and the American medical missions in the hectic times of the Gold Rush. He offers sketches of the health problems that have the most profound impacts on Alaska history, including smallpox, influenza, syphilis, tuberculosis, and alcohol abuse.
Chills and Fever belongs in the libraries of health workers, historians, anthropologists, and anyone with an interest in this unique and informative perspective on Alaska's past.