Although only a European pedigree conferred legitimacy on ideas and practices in nineteenth-century Latin American professions, those very European ideas demeaned Latin American people on the grounds of alleged racial degeneracy and climatic determinism. Race, Place, and Medicine revisits this elite conundrum through a group of medical doctors in the northeastern Brazilian city of Salvador in the nineteenth century. Known collectively as the Escola Tropicalista Bahiana, these doctors resisted the emerging European conventional wisdom concerning the etiology of tropical diseases. Instead of attributing diseases like beriberi and tuberculosis to a single pathogen, this group of doctors favored “multicausal” explanations of disease in tropical regions. Tropicalistas combined notions then considered outdated, such as miasma theory, with a precocious awareness of the socioeconomic context of disease and a considerable level of scientific professionalism. With their eclectic approach, these doctors purposefully designed a medical science suited...

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