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The Care of Strangers: The Rise of America’s Hospital System by Charles E. Rosenberg (168,000 words, 16 illustrations) Published by arrangement with Basic Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc., New York, NY.

Finalist for the
1988 Pulitzer Prize in History.

“[A] splendid history of the hospital in America... What makes this an important book is that Mr. Rosenberg has managed to tell the story of the hospital as a microcosm of American society... It is remarkable that an institution so central to our society, and to our medical system as the hospital has been for the last 100 years, has had to wait so long for a general historical analysis. It is Mr. Rosenberg’s accomplishment that the wait has been well worth it... Very well written and rich with interpretation, it deserves a wide audience not only among those concerned with medicine but also those with an interest in cities, social welfare and the professions.” — Gert H. Brieger,
The New York Times

“Charles E. Rosenberg’s long-awaited
The Care of Strangers marks a milestone in our understanding of the hospital as a social institution... It should be read by anyone who wants a sophisticated analysis of the forces that have shaped the modern hospital system.” — James H. Jones, The Washington Post Book World

“Rosenberg, a prize-winning historian, has written a detailed account of what has brought about the spectacular changes through which the hospital became accepted as the repository of medical knowledge and skills... Rosenberg interestingly deals with the main factors that elevated the hospital to its present eminence: medical-technological advances, especially in surgery, differential diagnosis, and drugs; demographic changes, with cities far outpacing rural areas in population; the assertiveness of doctors in promoting the hospital as a source of professional status and education; the widespread emergence of patient private payment and health insurance; the big expansion of federal subsidies for research and patient care... the book... is well-written and convincing... fascinatingly informative.” — Alfred H. Katz,
The Los Angeles Times

“A splendid contribution to medical history, one that should have a wide appeal to physicians, social scientists, and laypersons.” — Lester S. King, M.D.,
Journal of the American Medical Association

The Care of Strangers unravels an intricate and multifaceted story; it is one worthy of Rosenberg’s unparalleled skills as a historian of medicine... In this book, as in much of Rosenberg’s mature scholarship, an enormous command of the sources matches his powerful integrative vision... This brilliant and ambitious book is the history of American medicine; it defines the field and is likely to organize the efforts of our subdiscipline for the next generation.” — Morris J. Vogel, Bulletin of the History of Medicine

“Sociologists, economists, philanthropists, the members of the several health professions — even historians — tend to view hospitals from their own parochial perspectives. All would learn from Charles Rosenberg’s comprehensive view of authority, class relations, technology, and administration in the American hospital from 1800 to modern times. This superb book shows how that unique institution has always been a microcosm of American society.” — John G. Freymann,
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences

The Care of Strangers, Charles Rosenberg’s masterful synthesis of the history of the American hospital... offers readers, not simply the story of the development of a central institution of modern life, but an account that is also in many ways a history of the emergence of modern medicine... elegantly written and eminently readable.” — Regina Morantz-Sanchez, Reviews in American History

“Charles E. Rosenberg’s study makes a major contribution to the historiography of hospitals in America... This study is an elegantly written book that broadens the history of hospitals and places it squarely within the larger field of American social history. In doing so, the book makes a major contribution not only to the history of medicine but also to the history of institutions and to American social history in general.” — Virginia G. Drachman,
The American Historical Review

“Rosenberg’s new book provides a masterly and comprehensive survey of the American hospital as it developed before 1920... the most illuminating account now available.” — John Pickstone,

“Rosenberg’s book, a masterful synthesis, is essential reading for any one who wants to understand these transformations [in how hospitals functioned]. The author’s descriptive skills are superb, especially in deploying firsthand accounts of patients and doctors who coped with suffering in these hospitals.” — Chester R. Burns,
American Scientist

“This scholarly and fascinating work describes the emergence of the modern American hospital in the years between 1870 and 1920.” — Bonnie Bullough,
The American Journal of Nursing

“In this extraordinary book Charles Rosenberg synthesizes and extends several decades of scholarship on the history of medical care, and especially of hospitals, in the United States... it is a superb history of medicine in the United States between the late eighteenth and early twentieth centuries... this book will be the standard in its field for the foreseeable future.” — Daniel M. Fox,
The Journal of Southern History

“Rosenberg’s book is a powerful and elegant discussion of the origins of modern hospital practice.” — David Rosner,

The Care of Strangers is a brilliant summation of 15 years of historical scholarship. This account provides a rich basis for sociological theorizing about the institutionalization of medical care and the relation of the hospital to class, gender, and ethnic politics.” — Beth Stevens, American Journal of Sociology

“Charles Rosenberg has skillfully, and with the authority of his vast research and wisdom... [produced] a lucid, compelling, and enlightening analysis of continuing change in one of society’s most valued social institutions.” — Robert Straus,
Contemporary Sociology

“[A] wide-ranging, comprehensive, and original study.” — Judith Walzer Leavitt,
The American Historical Review