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Herbs and Roots: A History of Chinese Doctors in the American Medical Marketplace
  • Author Image
    Tamara Venit Shelton
  • Publisher Logo
    Yale University Press

Herbs and Roots: A History of Chinese Doctors in the American Medical Marketplace

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Key Metrics

  • Tamara Venit Shelton
  • Yale University Press
  • Hardcover
  • 9780300243611
  • 9.4 X 6.4 X 1.1 inches
  • 1.55 pounds
  • Medical > History
  • English
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Book Description

An innovative, deeply researched history of Chinese medicine in America and the surprising interplay between Eastern and Western medical practice

Chinese medicine has a long history in the United States, with written records dating back to the American colonial period. In this intricately crafted history, Tamara Venit Shelton chronicles the dynamic systems of knowledge, therapies, and materia medica crossing between China and the United States from the eighteenth century to the present. Chinese medicine, she argues, has played an important and often unacknowledged role in both facilitating and undermining the consolidation of medical authority among formally trained biomedical scientists in the United States.

Practitioners of Chinese medicine, as racial embodiments of irregular medicine, became useful foils for Western physicians struggling to assert their superiority of practice. At the same time, Chinese doctors often embraced and successfully employed Orientalist stereotypes to sell their services to non-Chinese patients skeptical of modern biomedicine. What results is a story of racial constructions, immigration politics, cross-cultural medical history, and the lived experiences of Asian Americans in American history.

Herbs and Roots: A History of Chinese Doctors in the American Medical Marketplace

Author Bio

Tamara Venit Shelton is professor of history at Claremont McKenna College and author of Herbs and Roots: A History of Chinese Doctors in the American Medical Marketplace and A Squatter’s Republic: Land and the Politics of Monopoly in California, 1850–1900.

Current Research 

social history of chronic pain and industrial environments in the nineteenth century; Covid-19 at Claremont McKenna College digital archive and oral history project. 

 

Education 

Stanford University, Stanford CA
MA/Ph.D., history, 2008
Dissertation: “A Squatters’ Republic: Land Rights, Reform, and Anti-Monopoly in California and the Nation, 1850-1920,” Advisor: Richard White

Amherst College, Amherst MA
B.A., history and French, 2000
Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude, and honors in history

 

Source: Claremont McKena College 

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