At the Edge of Development: Health Crisis in a Traditional Society

Edited by Richard L. Guerrant, M. Auxiliadora de Souza, and Marilyn K. Nations. (472 pages, hard cover. Carolina Academic Press, Durham, NC, USA, 1996. ISBN #0-89089-788-3. $65.00

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This very wide-ranging book, which draws on the authors and editors' fifteen years of laboratory and field experience in Northeastern Brazil, seeks to “bridge the medical and anthropological perspectives on diseases of development.” Thus, although the immediate geographic area of concern is confined to one region of the developing world, the relevant topics addressed within that context reach from the biochemistry of pathologic processes involved in certain infectious diseases, to the cultural, economic, and political determinants of poverty and healthcare-related behavior. Virtually all readers will be challenged to absorb some aspects of the subjects treated which are outside of the readers area of knowledge because of the great scope of this book. The potential reward, however, is a fuller understanding of the myriad factors involved in determining health status and health care in developing countries.

The book is arranged in three sections.

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