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The Cure in the Code by Peter Huber

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1

THE TRIUMPH-AND LIMITS-OF SOCIALIZED MEDICINE

“THERE HAVE BEEN at work among us three great social agencies: the London City Mission; the novels of Mr. Dickens; the cholera.” In The Moral Imagination, historian Gertrude Himmelfarb quotes this reductionist observation at the end of her chapter on Charles Dickens; her debt is to an English nonconformist minister, addressing his flock in 1853. It comes as no surprise to find the author of Hard Times and Oliver Twist honored in his own day alongside the City Mission, a movement founded to engage churches in aiding the poor. But what’s Vibrio cholerae doing up there on the dais beside the Inimitable Boz?

It’s being commended for the tens of millions of lives it’s going to save. This vicious little ...

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