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Book Cover
Author Wexler, Alice, 1942-

Title The woman who walked into the sea : Huntington's and the making of a genetic disease / Alice Wexler
Published New Haven : Yale University Press, ©2008


Description 1 online resource (xxiv, 253 pages) : illustrations, map, portraits
Contents The death of Phebe Hedges -- The social course of St. Vitus's dance -- Inventing hereditary chorea -- Chorea and the clinical gaze -- The eyes of Elizabeth B. Muncey, M.D. -- Myths of origins and endings
Summary When Phebe Hedges, a woman in East Hampton, New York, walked into the sea in 1806, she made visible the historical experience of a family affected by the dreaded disorder of movement, mind, and mood her neighbors called St. Vitus's dance. Doctors later spoke of Huntington's chorea, and today it is known as Huntington's disease. This book is the first history of Huntington's in America. Starting with the life of Phebe Hedges, Alice Wexler uses Huntington's as a lens to explore the changing meanings of heredity, disability, stigma, and medical knowledge among ordinary people as well as scientists and physicians. She addresses these themes through three overlapping stories: the lives of a nineteenth-century family once said to "belong to the disease"; the emergence of Huntington's chorea as a clinical entity; and the early-twentieth-century transformation of this disorder into a cautionary eugenics tale. In our own era of expanding genetic technologies, this history offers insights into the social contexts of medical and scientific knowledge, as well as the legacy of eugenics in shaping both the knowledge and the lived experience of this disease
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 189-241) and index
Notes English
Print version record
Subject Hedges, Phebe, 1764-1806.
Huntington, George, 1850-1916.
Muncey, E. B
Hedges, Phebe, 1764-1806
Huntington, George, 1850-1916
Muncey, E. B
Hedges, Phebe, 1764-1806
Huntington, George, 1850-1916
Muncey, E. B.
Huntington's disease -- New York (State) -- History -- 19th century
Huntington's disease -- New York (State) -- History -- 20th century
Eugenics -- history
Huntington Disease -- history
History, 19th Century
History, 20th Century
PSYCHOLOGY -- Neuropsychology.
HISTORY -- Social History.
Huntington's disease
New York
New York (State)
Genre/Form History
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2008006389
ISBN 9780300151770