Thursday, May 24, 2018

Ten books that reveal secret histories

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and the Ustari Cycle from Pocket/Gallery, including We Are Not Good People. At the B&N Reads blog he tagged ten books that "offer perspectives on history that remained hidden for a long time," including:
Medical Apartheid, by Harriet A. Washington

Most people are familiar with the horrific Tuskegee Syphilis Study, in which the U.S. government allowed 600 black men sick with syphilis to go untreated so the disease could be studied, but Washington points out that this is merely the most famous instance of incredible racism inside the medical and scientific world. We tend to think of doctors and scientists as fair-minded and objective, but after reading this book you’ll know better. From slaves sold off for medical experiments to hospitals waiving fees for deceased black patients solely so they could claim the bodies for anatomy lessons and prison populations used for involuntary studies, there’s a whole secret and shameful history of abuse here that goes far beyond what most people think of when they think about racism.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue