Disease and Empire: The Health of European Troops in the Conquest of Africa

Disease and Empire: The Health of European Troops in the Conquest of Africa

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Philip D. Curtin
Cambridge University Press, 5/28/1998
EAN 9780521591690, ISBN10: 0521591694

Hardcover, 290 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.1 cm
Language: English
Originally published in English

Before the nineteenth century, European soldiers serving in the tropics died from disease at a rate several times higher than that of soldiers serving at home. Then, from about 1815 to 1914, the death rates of European soliders, both those serving at home and abroad, dropped by nearly 90%. But this drop applied mainly to soliders in barracks. Soldiers on campaign, especially in the tropics, continued to die from disease at rates as high as ever, in sharp contrast to the drop in barracks death rates. This book, first published in 1998, examines the practice of military medicine during the conquest of Africa, especially in the 1880s and 1890s. Curtin examines what was done, what was not done, and the impact of doctors' successes and failures on the willingness of Europeans to embark on imperial adventures.

1. The West African disease background
2. The march to Magdala
3. The march to Kumasi
4. Conquest in the West African tropics, 1879–1900
5. Typhoid fever and the garrison of Egypt, 1882–1914
6. The typhoid campaigns
Northeastern Africa in the 1880s
7. The last campaigns in Eastern Africa
Madagascar and Omdurman, 1895–8
8. The Anglo-Boer War
9. Retrospect.