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Driven by Fear – Epidemics and Isolation in San Francisco's House of Pestilence - Illinois Scholarship Online
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Driven by Fear: Epidemics and Isolation in San Francisco's House of Pestilence

Guenter B. Risse


From the late nineteenth century until the 1920s, authorities instructed San Francisco's Pesthouse to segregate the diseased from the rest of the city. This book places this forgotten institution within an emotional climate dominated by widespread public dread and disgust. The book analyzes the unique form of stigma generated by San Franciscans. Emotional states like xenophobia and racism played a part. Yet the phenomenon also included competing medical paradigms and unique economic needs that encouraged authorities to protect the city's reputation as a haven of health restoration. As the book ... More

Keywords: Pesthouse, San Francisco, xenophobia, racism, health restoration, public health, infectious diseases, bioterror

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780252039843
Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017 DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252039843.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Guenter B. Risse, author
University of Washington School of Medicine