Health, Medicine, and Social Care


This compilation features books of the Central European University Press, published since its establishment in 1993, that have some relevance to health and medicine in a historical dimension. After the latest release, titles in the backlist are arranged by content: contemporary topics are on top, older themes below. For more substantial information about the content and availability, please click on the covers of the book, or on the links inserted into the citations.

“Hrdlička left a confusing record of statements making it difficult to map his relationship to eugenics. He kept up to date on developments in his field, and he knew eugenics was quickly losing scientific respectability in the 1930s. However, eugenic thinking was integral to his racial worldview.”—The Perils of Race-Thinking.
“Hrdlička thought the Slavs, not the Nordics, were the most eugenically fit biological ‘strain,’ and this idea made him a fan of the Soviet Union, though he had no interest in Communist ideology. According to his analysis, high death rates due to impoverished conditions in Eastern Europe were a blessing because they allowed the Slavs to shed their weaklings. This made the Slavs the fittest specimens of the White world.”
“While defending the eugenic equality of European immigrants, he was deliberately ‘disregarding the colored,’ whom he considered ‘the real problem before the American people.’ In eugenic terms, Blacks had ‘a widely different and not desirable physique’ for mixing with Whites.”

“Portuguese women workers understood the benefits of social security and mutual aid offered by mu­tualist societies for those who experienced everyday hardships whether due to illness, unemployment, old age, disability, childbirth, or widowhood.”–Women, Work, and Activism.
“The aspirations of the Greek working class to obtain social security was regarded as an essential element of the postwar modernization of Greek society. The unions put the issue of workers’ health and workplace risks at the heart of the debate, risks that necessitated specific welfare provisions.”
“Taking sick leave as a way of dealing with insufficient childcare facilities available in many workplaces was so widespread in Yugoslavia that factory management and local authorities incorporated high levels of absenteeism into their plans.”
“In the United States, nurses and their unions have led the way in demanding greater public response to the health dis­parities and dangers posed by the coronavirus epidemic.”

Books appearing in the series of CEU Press Studies in the History of Medicine:

Other titles on health issues and the history of medicine from CEU Press backlist. Historical topics on top, contemporary themes below (for more, click here):

“Let me make for you a charm against the eye from the breast of holy Patrick against neck swelling, against tail stopping, against nine plagues and nine murrains and against nine slender fairy women”—from the book on the role of charms and other magical remedies. Other volumes explore the medieval roots of using supernatural powers in medical practices, astrological medicine, popular healing, folk medicine and other varieties of unlicensed practices.

Specific health care practices and habits explain the demographic growth of the Jewish population in the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe in general and in Bohemia in particular.

A study of the process of medical professionalization in late imperial Russia.

A monograph on the social policies, child protection and health insurance in Hungary under the Habsburg Monarchy.

“In Budapest 59 percent of the physicians, 52 percent of the veterinary surgeons, and 33 percent of the pharmacists were Jewish in 1910… A very good hospital was built on the Manfréd Weiss factory grounds, where the workers and their family members could receive free medical care”—from the volume on the lifestyles of Jews in Hungary before the Shoah; a sequel to a successful title of similar genre.

“By the first decades of the 20th century, psychiatrists invaded the private spheres of ordinary families. Their task now was to intervene in solving grave social problems, such as alcoholism, pauperism, prostitution, syphilis, sexual perversion, and insanity.”—Psychology and Politics.
“Since the 1869 beginning of the Kazan District Hospital, all patients were allowed to wear casual, everyday clothes as the first rule of the non-restraint regime. Usual hospital uniforms such as striped gowns, caps, large caps, etc. were abolished.”
“Military health authorities accepted the idea that psychoanalysis may be attempted as a final treatment method in such cases of traumatic neuroses where patients had already shown resistance to other methods.”
“Ferenczi felt threatened by the plans of the Hungarian Soviet Republic to nationalize the whole health system and to deprive doctors of their private praxis as the basis of their existence.”

“The education of children in state care represented continuity rather than discontinuity with earlier models of reform and reformatory education. The rise into power of the communist party actually meant that it might be possible to realize these pedagogical ideals.”–Protected Children, Regulated Mothers.
“Representatives of the child protection system regarded the proper shaping of Romani mothers’ parenting habits as a significant step towards the disappearance of work-shyness among Roma and thus their successful assimilation into Hungarian society.”
“The so-called Family Act of 1952 brought about significant changes concerning women’s equality in the areas of marriage, family, and guardianship. It erased patriarchal family patterns by instituting marriage as the equal partnership of ‘two working people,’ and it ended discrimination against women regarding property ownership, divorce procedures, and child custody. Importantly, it gave equal rights to children born out of wedlock.”

“The Six-Year Plan was an enormous endeavor aiming at the ‘productivization’ of over a million women. Changes were introduced in legislation concerning labor protection (for example, the ban on employing women on night shifts and underground was abolished). The division into male and female professions was abandoned, and the care and service sector was expanded through opening up new nurseries, kindergartens, cafeterias, and laundries.”—Reassessing Communism.
“Film chronicles had a clear negative point of reference: the prewar times. These depictions were composed of abject poverty, social inequalities, social stratification and exclusion, homelessness, hunger, lack of healthcare, a state that acted against its society.”
“The new marital, family, and guardianship laws adopted in 1946 abolished legal differences between children born to married couples and out of wedlock. Both mother and child could now petition for the establishment of paternity and thus demand child support.”

“The emergence of national insurance systems deeply shaped the experience of wage labor. Firstly, workers’ compensation following a work accident came to be grasped through the notion of occupational hazard, which automatically entitled the disabled worker to a certain amount of money. Secondly, medical expertise turned into the cornerstone of the labor market: medical certificates mediated not only the distribution of sickness benefits and medical leave, but also the right to disability pensions and various forms of medical assistance.”—Labor in State-Socialist Europe.
“At factory level the budget for work accidents was regularly overstretched. When money ran out, medical doctors preferred to register injured workers as simply sick, hiding the real causes of their absenteeism and thus avoiding their payment.”
“A 1959 survey reported that women needed one and a half hours for shopping, two hours for cleaning, one and a half hours for washing, one and a half hours for cooking, and three hours for childcare every day.”

A book on tourism in communist Yugoslavia: “workers were expected to feel physically better after their holiday and to a positive attitude about their health.”

“The general situation of reproductive health and health services is far from ideal in [post-soviet] Russia, and there is a widespread distrust of health-care providers”—from a collection of essays on family life and childhood in the past half century in east Europe.

“The ethnic point of view made its way into the health care sector. Health supervisors would examine Gypsy settlements every two weeks. Until 1985 the state maintained the institution of forced bathing.”—from the book on the effects of the Roma policies in Hungary in the second half of the twentieth century. Also elsewhere in Europe, the miserable health indicators in Roma settlements are produced by the prevailing unacceptable environmental conditions.