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Poverty, inequality and health in Britain: 1800-2000
A reader

George Davey Smith, Daniel Dorling, Mary Shaw
Paperback, 464 pages, 240 x 172 mm
Other formats available
11 Jul 2001
Studies in Poverty, Inequality and Social Exclusion series


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North America customers can order this book here from the University of Chicago Press.

"The editors of this volume are to be congratulated on the quality of the selections from classics texts on poverty, inequality and health in Britain during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries."
International Journal of Epidemiology
"... a convenient source for those studying social history."
Journal of Social Policy "... a handy course guide for classes in the history of public health and urban studies."
Bulletin History of Medicine
"This is an excellent collection of the most influential scholarly British work in this field. The introduction and timeline provide a helpful overview of the subject."
Alison McCallum, Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki
"This book is an invaluable reference for academics and students, working in a variety of disciplines, who are interested in health inequalities."
Ian Rees Jones, Faculty of Healthcare Sciences, St George's Hospital Medical School

About This Book

Inequalities in health, in terms of both empirical evidence and policies to tackle their reduction, are currently high on the research and political agendas. This reader provides two centuries of historical context to the current debate. Poverty, inequality and health in Britain: 1800-2000 presents extracts from classic texts on the subject of poverty, inequality and health in Britain. For the first time, these key resources are presented in a single volume. Each extract is accompanied by information about the author, and an introduction by the editors draws together themes of change and continuity over two hundred years. Some extracts present empirical evidence of the relationship of poverty and health, while others describe the gritty reality of the everyday struggles of the poor. This book will be of interest to students, researchers, academics and policy makers working in a range of disciplines: the social sciences, historical studies and health. It will also be of interest to all those concerned with tackling health inequalities and social justice generally. Studies in poverty, inequality and social exclusion series Series Editor: David Gordon, Director, Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research. Poverty, inequality and social exclusion remain the most fundamental problems that humanity faces in the 21st century. This exciting series, published in association with the Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research at the University of Bristol, aims to make cutting-edge poverty related research more widely available. For other titles in this series, please follow the series link from the main catalogue page.

Author Biography

George Davey Smith is Professor of Clinical Epidemiology in the Department of Social Medicine at the University of Bristol. He has published widely in the field of social epidemiology, particularly on the health effects of the accumulation of socioeconomic advantages and disadvantages over the lifecourse. Daniel Dorling is Professor of Quantitative Human Geography in the School of Geography at the University of Leeds. His research interests include the visualisation of spatial social structure and the changing economic, political and medical geographies of Britain. Mary Shaw is an ESRC-funded Research Fellow in the School of Geographical Sciences at the University of Bristol. She researches various aspects of social and spatial inequalities in health and their implications for social policy.


Further reading
Extracts from: Thomas Clarkson's An essay on the impolicy of the African slave trade (1788) and An essay on the slavery and commerce of the human species, particularly the African (1785, 1817)
Thomas Malthus' An essay on the principle of population (1798, 1985)
Factory Inquiry Commission Report (1833)
William Farr's Vital statistics: A memorial volume (1837, 1885, 1975)
Edwin Chadwick's Report on the sanitary conditions of the labouring population of Gt Britain (1842, 1965)
Friedrich Engels' The condition of the working class in England (1845, 1987)
Henry Mayhew's London labour and the London poor (1851-52)
Karl Marx's Inaugural address of the International Working Men's Association (1864, 1992)
Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree's Poverty: A study of town life (1901, 1971)
Charles Booth's On the city: Physical pattern and social structure (1902-3, 1967)
Maud Pember Reeves' Round about a pound a week (1913, 1988)
Robert Tressell's The ragged trousered philanthropists (1914, 1955)
Edgar L. Collis and Major Greenwood's The health of the industrial worker (1921)
Frank W. White's 'Natural and social selection: a "Blue-Book" analysis' (1928)
George C.M. M'Gonigle and J. Kirby's Poverty and public health (1936)
John Boyd Orr's Food, health and income (1936, 1937)
Wal Hannington's The problem of distressed areas (1937)
Margery Spring Rice's Working-class wives: Their health and conditions (1939)
William Beveridge's Social Insurance and Allied Services (1942)
Richard Titmuss' Birth, poverty and wealth (1943)
J.N. Morris' Health (1944)
John Hewetson's Ill-health, poverty and the state (1946)
Aneurin Bevan's In place of fear (1947)
Brian Abel-Smith and Peter Townsend's The poor and the poorest (1965)
Robert Roberts' The classic slum: Salford life in the first quarter of the century (1971)
Julian Tudor Hart's 'The inverse care law' (1971)
Inequalities in health: Report of a Research Working Group chaired by Sir Douglas Black (The Black Report) (1980)
Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health (The Acheson Report) (1998).


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