Volume 33, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Peter Stuyvesant, first Dutch governor of New York, promulgated an ordinance in 1657 prohibiting people from throwing garbage and refuse into the streets. The present mayor of New York City is confronted with the same problem. The intervening 327 years comprehend the epic of the New York City Department of Health. These years have seen a vast increase in the responsibility assumed by what has been one of America's outstanding city health departments.

James Imperato, Health commissioner from January 1977 until March 1978, discusses the vicissitudes of the agency through the centuries, while concentrating upon the last few decades, notably the 1960s and 1970s. These particular decades occasioned vast political, social and economic changes throughout the nation, and certainly in New York City.

The volume demonstrates the impact and importance of the political process upon public health decisions and public health administration.


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