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Bellevue : three centuries of medicine and mayhem at America's most storied hospital / David Oshinsky.

A history of the iconic public hospital on New York City's East Side describes the changes in American medicine from 1730 to modern times as it traces the building's origins as an almshouse and pesthouse to its current status as a revered place of first-class care.
Bellevue Hospital, on New York City's East Side, occupies a colorful and horrifying place in the public imagination: a den of mangled crime victims, vicious psychopaths, assorted derelicts, lunatics, and exotic-disease sufferers. In its two and a half centuries of service, there was hardly an epidemic or social catastrophe--or groundbreaking scientific advance--that did not touch Bellevue. David Oshinsky, whose last book, Polio: An American Story, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize, chronicles the history of America's oldest hospital and in so doing also charts the rise of New York to the nation's preeminent city, the path of American medicine from butchery and quackery to a professional and scientific endeavor, and the growth of a civic institution. From its origins in 1738 as an almshouse and pesthouse, Bellevue today is a revered public hospital bringing first-class care to anyone in need. With its diverse, ailing, and unprotesting patient population, the hospital was a natural laboratory for the nation's first clinical research. It treated tens of thousands of Civil War soldiers, launched the first civilian ambulance corps and the first nursing school for women, pioneered medical photography and psychiatric treatment, and spurred New York City to establish the country's first official Board of Health. As medical technology advanced, "voluntary" hospitals began to seek out patients willing to pay for their care. For charity cases, it was left to Bellevue to fill the void. The latter decades of the twentieth century brought rampant crime, drug addiction, and homelessness to the nation's struggling cities--problems that called a public hospital's very survival into question. It took the AIDS crisis to cement Bellevue's enduring place as New York's ultimate safety net, the iconic hospital of last resort. Lively, page-turning, fascinating, Bellevue is essential American history.-- Publisher description.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780385523363 (hardcover : alk. paper)
  • ISBN: 038552336X (hardcover : alk. paper)
  • Physical Description: 387 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Doubleday, [2016]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Beginnings -- Hosack's vision -- The great epidemic -- Teaching medicine -- A hospital in war -- "Hives of sickness and vice" -- The bellevue ambulance -- Bellevue venus -- Nightingales -- Germ theory -- A tale of two presidents -- The mad house -- The new metropolis -- Cause of death -- The shocking truth -- Survival -- Aids -- Rock bottom -- Sandy -- Rebirth.
Subject: Bellevue Hospital > History.
Bellevue Hospital.
Bellevue Hospital.
Hospitals > New York (State) > New York > History.
Hospital care > New York (State) > New York > History.
Hospitals > New York (State) > New York > History.
Hospitals, Urban > history.
History, Modern 1601-
New York City.
Hospitals > New York (State) > New York > History.
New York (State) > New York.
Hospitals > New York (N.Y.) > History.
Medical care > New York (N.Y.) > History.

Available copies

  • 0 of 1 copy available at Nazareth. (Show)
  • 0 of 1 copy available at Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity 362.1109 OSH 2016 (Text)
Bookplate: Donated by Susan Gerken 2024
31001101911395 Adult Non Fiction Checked Out 03/08/2024

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