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Intimate Communities: Wartime Healthcare and the Birth of Modern China, 1937–1945, by Nicole Elizabeth Barnes

Intimate Communities: Wartime Healthcare and the Birth of Modern China, 1937–1945, by Nicole... BOOK REVIEWS Intimate Communities: Wartime Healthcare and the Birth of Modern China, 1937–1945 By Nicole Elizabeth Barnes (Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2018) (324 pages; $34.95 paperback; free electronic) Important books on the history of nursing ask new and revealing questions about the discipline. The best books ask such questions about larger issues in history and the history of healthcare. Nicole Barnes’s Intimate Communi- ties falls in this latter category. How, she wonders, do we understand the conundrum of modern China? How, after endless wars and civil conflicts, did the newly established People’s Republic of China immediately and suc- cessfully establish a strong state and a complex bureaucracy within a space long marked by social and cultural differences of language, customs, and alle- giances? Certainly, she argues, peace helped, as did assistance from the Soviet Union, the economic benefits of land reform, and the fervor of Communist ideology (p. 3). But Barnes turns her attention to a heretofore overlooked factor. Volunteer female medical workers, primarily nurses, performed both the physical and, more importantly, the “emotional labor” that convinced sick and wounded soldiers they were not mere uncivilized cogs in a mili- tary machine but rather dignified people worthy http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nursing History Review Springer Publishing

Intimate Communities: Wartime Healthcare and the Birth of Modern China, 1937–1945, by Nicole Elizabeth Barnes

Nursing History Review , Volume 29 (1): 3 – Dec 24, 2020

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
Copyright
© 2020 Springer Publishing Company
ISSN
1062-8061
eISSN
1938-1913
DOI
10.1891/1062-8061.29.223
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

BOOK REVIEWS Intimate Communities: Wartime Healthcare and the Birth of Modern China, 1937–1945 By Nicole Elizabeth Barnes (Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2018) (324 pages; $34.95 paperback; free electronic) Important books on the history of nursing ask new and revealing questions about the discipline. The best books ask such questions about larger issues in history and the history of healthcare. Nicole Barnes’s Intimate Communi- ties falls in this latter category. How, she wonders, do we understand the conundrum of modern China? How, after endless wars and civil conflicts, did the newly established People’s Republic of China immediately and suc- cessfully establish a strong state and a complex bureaucracy within a space long marked by social and cultural differences of language, customs, and alle- giances? Certainly, she argues, peace helped, as did assistance from the Soviet Union, the economic benefits of land reform, and the fervor of Communist ideology (p. 3). But Barnes turns her attention to a heretofore overlooked factor. Volunteer female medical workers, primarily nurses, performed both the physical and, more importantly, the “emotional labor” that convinced sick and wounded soldiers they were not mere uncivilized cogs in a mili- tary machine but rather dignified people worthy

Journal

Nursing History ReviewSpringer Publishing

Published: Dec 24, 2020

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