Part biography, part medical history, and part study of Jewish
life in turn-of-the-century America, Jeanne
Abrams's book tells the story of Dr. Charles
David Spivak - a Jewish immigrant from Russia who became one of the
leaders of the American Tuberculosis Movement.
Born in Russia in 1861, Spivak immigrated to the United States
in 1882 and received his medical degree from
Philadelphia's Jefferson Medical College by 1890.
In 1896, his wife's poor health brought them to
Colorado. Determined to find a cure, Spivak became one of the most
charismatic and well-known leaders in the American Tuberculosis
Movement. His role as director of Denver's Jewish
Consumptives' Relief Society sanatorium allowed
his personal philosophies to strongly influence policies. His
unique blend of Yiddishkeit, socialism, and secularism - along with
his belief in treating the "whole" patient - became a model for
integrating medical, social, and rehabilitation services that was
copied across the country.
Not only a national leader in the crusade against tuberculosis
but also a luminary in the American Jewish community, Dr. Charles
Spivak was a physician, humanitarian, writer, linguist, journalist,
administrator, social worker, ethnic broker, and medical, public
health, and social crusader. Abrams's biography
will be a welcome addition to anyone interested in the history of
medicine, Jewish life in America, or Colorado history.
Subjects: History, Sociology
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