New to the Book Club: Fighting for Life, by S. Josephine Baker, 1939

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In the 1890s New York’s Lower East Side was the most densely populated square mile on the planet, with largely immigrant residents. A third of children born there died before their fifth birthday often due to epidemics of diarrhea, smallpox, typhus, child labor, poor sanitation, and other preventable conditions. But by 1911 the child death rate had fallen sharply and the community was among the most healthy in the country. By her retirement in 1923, Dr. Josephine Baker, director of the city’s Bureau of Child Hygiene, was credited with saving the lives of 90,000 children. In her very entertaining autobiography Dr. Baker describes how she did it. Read more on this book and others in the CT Health Policy Book Club