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Imperfect Pregnancies: A History of Birth Defects and Prenatal Diagnosis

Contemporary expectations and experiences of pregnancy are influenced in no small part by prenatal diagnosis. Imperfect Pregnancies traces the history of prenatal diagnosis from the 1960s to the present. The focus is on what author and medical historian Ilana Lowy calls the prenatal diagnosis dispositif, following Michel Foucault, or the contexts and conditions that make […]

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Successful Aging as a Contemporary Obsession: Global Perspectives

With the edited volume Successful Aging as a Contemporary Obsession, Lamb and colleagues provide a welcome contribution to the anthropology of aging and the life course, a generous blend of critique, ethnographic vitality, and alternative imaginings. Organized around four sections—Gender, Sexuality, and the Allure of Anti-aging; Ideals of Independence, Interdependence, and Intimate Sociality; National Policies […]

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Children as Caregivers: The Global Fight against Tuberculosis and HIV in Zambia

How do children make sense of global health care? How are global health care projects and strategies transformed by children? These are two of the primary questions that frame Jean Hunleth’s impressive ethnography, Children as Caregivers: The Global Fight Against Tuberculosis and HIV in Zambia. Based on nearly 10 years (2005–2014) of in-depth fieldwork on […]

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Health Equity in Brazil: Intersections of Gender, Race, and Policy

Health Equity in Brazil begins by introducing the readers to Alyne da Silva Pimentel, a 28-year-old Afro-Brazilian woman who died as a result of inadequate medical treatment after delivering a stillborn baby in 2002. Taking an intersectional approach, Caldwell’s work expounds on the shortcomings of Brazil’s public health care system as the cause of her […]

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Doctors at War: Life and Death in a Field Hospital

Good ethnographies of war are hard to come by. They often focus on the perpetrators or the victims, and very few speak to the labor of doctors in confronting the actual wounds of war. In today’s U.S.-led War on Terror, military medics are faced with major dilemmas: Death rates of soldiers are down, but injuries […]

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Zika: From the Brazilian Backlands to Global Threat

Deborah Diniz’s Zika: From the Brazilian Backlands to Global Threat illustrates the trajectory of the Zika virus through the eyes of the women who most suffered in the epidemic. This perspective allows for a compelling and captivating book that contributes to understanding the human dimension of the epidemic in Northeastern Brazil, an area plagued both […]

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Reinventing Hoodia: Peoples, Plants, and Patents in South Africa

Reinventing Hoodia is a multidisciplinary study of a number of legal and scientific entanglements involving San peoples and the plant commonly known as Hoodia. It focuses especially on benefit-sharing agreements signed by the South African San Council, first with the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and subsequently with transnational research and consumer […]

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Abortion Pills, Test Tube Babies, and Sex Toys: Emerging Sexual and Reproductive Technologies in the Middle East and North Africa

Sexual and reproductive health technologies are accepted, adapted, and resisted in a multitude of ways across different societies and within a single society. L. L. Wynn and Angel M. Foster have put together a collection of engaging essays that explore such technologies in different contexts across the Middle East and North Africa. Abortion Pills, Test […]

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Mistreated. The Political Consequences of the Fight against AIDS in Lesotho

In Mistreated, Nora Kenworthy examines how HIV program scale-up altered relationships between global health institutions and the Lesotho government and its citizens. Due to the exponential increase of external assistance earmarked for HIV programs since 2006, the government of Lesotho became increasingly accountable to donors and international priorities, and unaccountable to its citizens for basic […]

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Tell Me Why My Children Died: Rabies, Indigenous Knowledge, and Communicative Justice

Between 2007 and 2008, 32 children and six young adults were killed by rabid vampire bats in the Orinoco River delta of Venezuela. In Tell Me Why My Children Died, Charles L. Briggs and Clara Mantini-Briggs offer a gripping and harrowing account of the epidemic. The book is at once a deftly crafted “epidemiological thriller,” […]

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