A Jewish Immigrant and the American Tuberculosis Movement
Part biography, part medical history, and part study of Jewish life in turn-of-the-century America, Miracle Man tells the story of Dr Charles David Spivak -- the Jewish immigrant from Russia who became one of the leaders of the American tuberculosis movement.
Born in Russia in 1861, Spivak immigrated to the United States in 1882 and received his medical degree from Philadelphia's Jefferson Medical College by 1890. In 1896, his wife's poor health brought them to Colorado. Determined to find a cure, Spivak became one of the most charismatic and well-known leaders in the American tuberculosis movement. His role as director of Denver's Jewish Consumptives' Relief Society sanatorium allowed his personal philosophies to strongly influence policies. His unique blend of Yiddiskeit, socialism, and secularism -- along with his belief in treating the "whole" patient -- became a model for integrating medical, social, and rehabilitation services that was copied across the country.
Not only a national leader in the crusade against tuberculosis but also a luminary in the American Jewish community, Dr Charles Spivak was a physician, humanitarian, writer, linguist, journalist, administrator, social worker, ethnic broker, and medical, public health, and social crusader. Abrams's biography will be a welcome addition to anyone interested in the history of medicine, Jewish life in America, or Colorado history.
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