Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath, Right Now

Reading The Grapes of Wrath and finding eerie echoes in it, of the present cultural and political moment. Can’t tell if it’s comforting or horrifying or just sad, but certain passages create this sense in me that we have been through all of this before, and are going through it still, and will go through …

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The American Anti Vaccination Society (est. 1885)

On October 27, 1885, some twenty people (plus a few reporters) gathered at the home of Dr. R.A. Gunn on East 22nd street in Manhattan for an inaugural meeting of the American Anti-Vaccination Society. The group’s stated mission: “arousing the public to the evils of vaccination.” Their key arguments: Vaccines are ineffective at preventing disease. Worse yet, … Continue reading The American Anti Vaccination Society (est. 1885)

A look at the autobiography of America’s first female doctor, on the anniversary of her receiving an M.D.

One hundred sixty six years ago today (how’s that for obscure!), Elizabeth Blackwell graduated from Geneva Medical College in western New York, becoming America’s first female M.D. In honor of this anniversary, I’ve been skimming her autobiography, Pioneering Work in Opening the Medical Profession to Women, in which she very candidly discusses  her motivations for pursuing a career in medicine, … Continue reading A look at the autobiography of America’s first female doctor, on the anniversary of her receiving an M.D.