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EpidemicsHate and Compassion from the Plague of Athens to AIDS$
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Samuel K. Cohn, Jr.

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198819660

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198819660.001.0001

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The Great Influenza

The Great Influenza

(i) Comparative Vistas

Chapter:
(p.470) 22 The Great Influenza
Source:
Epidemics
Author(s):

Samuel K. Cohn, Jr.

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198819660.003.0023

This chapter asks comparative questions: did other countries experience the same outpouring of volunteerism as the US in the Great Influenza? Did women man the front lines of charity and self-sacrifice? It begins with the Deep South, which diverged from the national picture in the US. Here, men and their clubs, not women, played the dominant role, especially in New Orleans—the pattern set by a half-century of yellow fever resistance. The chapter moves on to Italy where there was some evidence of denial, though no blame or social violence. In contrast to the US, no outpouring of volunteerism emerged; rather, governments and the military intervened. France, Switzerland, and the British Isles likewise show no social violence or blaming, and no outpouring of volunteerism, especially among women. However, volunteerism was stronger in Ireland and Switzerland. Reliance on military intervention in civilian health care is the key to explaining these differences.

Keywords:   influenza, volunteerism, women, nursing, Deep South, Charles Rosenberg, civilian role of military, France, Switzerland, the British Isles

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