Department of History
The University of Houston
524 Agnes Arnold Hall
Houston, TX 77204-3003
Dr. Nancy Beck Young
Dr. Schafer Publishes New Book on the History of American Health Care
Dr. James A. Schafer, Jr.'s new book, The Business of Private Medical Practice: Doctors. Specialization, and Urban Change in Philadelphia, 1900-1940 was published with Rutgers University Press in December 2013.
Dr. Schafer's book is a timely and important study that sheds light on the current state of the American health care system. Using the case of early twentieth-century Philadelphia, the birthplace of American medicine, he shows how, with few financial incentives to locate in poor areas and with an increasingly competitive market, Philadelphia doctors clustered in central business districts and affluent suburbs. This led to limited practices and decreased access to primary care, particularly in light of growing urbanization.
One reviewer states that "Schafer offers a compelling study of some of the roots of today’s health-care woes . . . This rich social and economic history re-frames our understanding of a crucial period in American medicine."
The History Department congratulates Dr. Schafer on his latest accomplishment.
Dr. San Miguel Publishes New Book on Chicana/o Educational Activism
Dr. Guadalupe San Miguel, Jr. recently published Chicana/o Struggles for Education: Activism in the Community with Texas A & M University Press. In this book, San Miguel provides a nuanced overview and analysis of Chicana/o educational activism from 1960 to the present. Much of the history of Mexican American educational reform efforts has focused on campaigns to eliminate discrimination in public schools. However, as San Miguel Jr. demonstrates in this book, the story is much broader and more varied than that. While activists certainly challenged discrimination in the years after 1960, they also worked for specific public school reforms that met their varied academic needs and sought private and community-based schooling opportunities. The profusion of strategies has not erased patterns of de facto segregation and unequal academic achievement, he concludes, but it has played a key role in expanding educational opportunities. These actions also have extended and diversified the historic struggle for education waged by Mexican American activists in the first half of the 20th century. San Miguel’s important study offers enhanced insight into the quest for equal educational opportunity to new generations of students.
The Department of History Faculty congratulates Dr. San Miguel on the publication of this timely and important new book.
Dr. Decker Publishes New Book in the History of American Psychiatry
Dr. Hannah S. Decker recently published The Making of DSM-III: A Diagnostic Manual’s Conquest of American Psychiatry with Oxford University Press. Dr. Decker is a cultural historian of psychiatry and psychoanalysis. Her new book deals with a revolutionary psychiatric diagnostic manual (the DSM) that dramatically changed the way most psychiatrists conceptualized mental disorders. The focus shifted away from thinking about what causes mental disorders to just describing their symptoms. The psychoanalytic view of mental disorders was eliminated. The manual had far-reaching effects on American society as well, inaugurating a time when a DSM diagnosis could influence decisions of mental health professionals, patient advocacy groups, health insurance companies, lawyers, judges, prison officials, school administrators and teachers, guidance counselors, labor officials, employers, legislators, grant giving bodies, and media organizations. Decker’s book is based on American Psychiatric Association archives never before used and has been called “magisterial” and a “landmark” by advance reviewers.
The Department of History Faculty congratulates Dr. Decker on the publication of this important new study.
Dr. Young Publishes New Studies of World War II, U.S. PresidencyDr. Nancy Beck Young recently published Why We Fight: Congress and the Politics of World War II with the University Press of Kansas. This book examines how moderates in Congress sided with liberals to make economic reforms from the New Deal permanent but worked with conservatives to thwart efforts for social justice reform during the World War II years. Young also reveals just how important moderates are to successful governance. The book shifts focus from a presidency-centered narrative of political history to a Congress-centered one, revising the literature of American political development at midcentury.
Dr. Young's six volume Encyclopedia of the U.S. Presidency was also published recently with Facts on File, a leading publisher of reference material. Dr. Young was the editor for this project, the most comprehensive reference source available on the U.S. presidency. One volume contains thematic essays about various aspects of the presidency, including diplomacy, party politics, relations with the press, and relations with Congress among other topics. The remaining five volumes have lengthy chapters exploring the biographies and administrative histories of each of the nation's forty-four presidents along with a series of innovative essays defining major events and issues from each administration.
The Department of History Faculty congratulates Dr. Young on the publication of these important new works.