“In A Good Time to Be Born, [Klass] takes the most complex human patterns of all—history, medicine, politics, art—and knits them into something unique and beautiful.”

—The New York Times

A Good Time To Be Born

How Science and Public Health Gave Children a Future

 

The fight against child mortality that transformed parenting, doctoring and the way we live.

Only one hundred years ago, even in the world’s wealthiest nations, children died in great numbers—of diarrhea, diphtheria and measles, of scarlet fever and meningitis. Culture was shaped by these deaths; diaries and letters recorded them, poets and writers wrote about and lamented them. Not even the high and mighty could escape: presidents and titans of industry lost their children, the poor and powerless lost theirs even more frequently.

 

The near-conquest of infant and child mortality is one of our greatest human achievements. Perri Klass pulls the story together for the first time, paying tribute to scientists, public health advocates, and groundbreaking women doctors who brought new scientific ideas about sanitation and vaccination to families. Thanks to their work, early death is now the exception, bringing about a massive transformation in society and freeing parents to worry a lot more about a lot less.

Book talk: Science on Tap, Portland, Oregon

November 12, 2020

7:00 pm PST

At this Science on Tap event, Perri Klass, MD, will be joined by David Oshinsky, PhD, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning book Polio: An American Story and Professor in the Department of Medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. They will discuss the science and history of some of these medical breakthroughs that have saved countless children’s lives, and will pay tribute to scientists, public health advocates, and groundbreaking women doctors who brought new scientific ideas about sanitation and vaccination to families.

Learn more here. Facebook page here.

Book talk: Becker Friedman Institute, Seminary Co-Op Bookstore, and the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health: Chicago

November 17, 2020

6:00 pm CST

Dr. Klass will join Dr. Dana Suskind, co-director of the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health, for an in-depth discussion of the astonishing human achievement at the heart of this book.

What can we learn from the scientists, public health advocates, and groundbreaking women doctors who brought new scientific ideas to families over the past century? How can we apply those lessons to the greatest public health crises facing us today? And if we don’t, are we at risk of forfeiting the incredible gains we’ve achieved?

Read more and register here.

Lecture: Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford, CT

January 13, 2021

5:30 pm ET

Dr. Klass will speak at the museum's lecture series, "Trouble Begins at 5:30."

More details soon.