The research for this project was funded in part by the French government’s Chateaubriand fellowship program and the Lurcy Charitable Trust. Dissertation writing support was provided by the Mellon Fellowships in the Humanities. In France, many people went out of their way to help me in my efforts to track down and make sense of my sources. Jean Legoy, Philippe Manneville, and Didier Nourrisson in Le Havre helped me understand what makes that city so fascinating for historical study and guided me in situating tuberculosis within a local social and political context. Colette Chambelland and Françoise Blum of the Musée social in Paris helped me find many elusive and invaluable materials. Jérôme Renaud of the Service des Archives, Assistance publique de Paris, graciously facilitated access to hospital records and other holdings. My research benefited from many helpful strategic discussions with, among others, Patrick Fridenson, Alain Corbin, Olivier Faure, Pierre Guillaume, Bernard-Pierre Lécuyer, Alain Cottereau, Lion Murard, and Patrick Zylberman. Allan Mitchell was generous with source material and drafts of his own work and cordially agreed to disagree with me on certain matters of interpretation. Annie Lenhart provided moral support and vital French newspaper clippings.
Back in the Bay Area, a number of discussion groups and the cooperative atmosphere fostered by the History Department of the University of California, Berkeley, provided a friendly and comfortable academic environment in which to write and discuss the dissertation from which this book developed. From the very earliest stages of this project, Catherine Kudlick has been an acute reader and supportive critic of countless drafts. She has also been my mentor in the history of disease and a trusted friend, and I owe her more than the devoted thanks I can express here. Denise Herd of the School of Public Health contributed her expertise to this project as a member of my dissertation committee, as did Thomas Laqueur, who cheerfully challenged me with his eclectic and imaginative sense of the history of the human body. Reggie Zelnik offered sage advice and gave freely of his time from the beginning.
Tim Lennon and Lisa Schiff generously gave me thorough readings and helpful comments on the dissertation version of this study. I owe many thanks to Neil Leonard for his editorial and strategic advice over the years. Deirdre O’Reilly and Elizabeth Aife Murray gave immeasurable assistance during the preparation of the manuscript, and Stuart Kogod of RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco did yeoman’s service on the illustrations. I am grateful to my sisters, Elizabeth Barnes and Ann Deschamps, and the Batistas, Roy, Kathy, Peggy, Matthew, and Marc, for their support. I would also like to thank Mary Jo Savage and the Rev. James Kolp for their insights concerning Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.
Guenter Risse and Jack Pressman, my colleagues in the History of Health Sciences Department at the University of California, San Francisco, have greatly enlarged my view of the history of medicine and have never failed to engage me in fruitful discussion and debate. Jack also volunteered extensive advice on graphing and computing. The members of the Berkeley–San Francisco History, Medicine, and Culture group (affectionately and irreverently known as the “Med-Heads”) were repeatedly exposed to tuberculosis; Lisa Cody, Caroline Acker, and Robert Martensen were particularly helpful. The meetings of the Northern California French History group also brought kindred spirits together for serious yet convivial historiographical discussion. In this latter group, I am especially grateful to Lou Roberts, Gabrielle Hecht, and Tyler Stovall for their insightful critiques and suggestions.
For the participants in the illustrious French History dissertation group at Berkeley, the long and arduous process of dissertation writing is truly a collective enterprise. Countless evenings of fine food, drink, and scholarly exchange at the Barrows household—always enlivened by the wise and stylish Alexandra Barrows—punctuated our hard work with critical analysis, solidarity, and even occasional joy. I am grateful to Marjorie Beale, Joshua Cole, Sarah Farmer, Megan Koreman, Doug Mackaman, Jeff Ravel, Vanessa Schwartz, Matt Truesdell, Jeffrey Verhey, and Tami Whited. I owe special thanks to Ian Burney, Nicoletta Gullace, Regina Sweeney, and Sylvia Schafer, who helped me survive graduate school with their intellectual companionship and friendship.
I first glimpsed the joys of studying history through the teaching of John Merriman. Bon vivant, raconteur, and archive connoisseur of world renown, he breathes life into the subject matter of French history as few other historians can. William Cronon’s analytical rigor, mastery of style, and devotion to teaching taught me a great deal about the craft of history. The opportunity to work with these two historians as an undergraduate first instilled in me the desire to become one myself.
In a profound way, my work bears the imprint of Susanna Barrows. I could not dream of a more inspiring and dedicated mentor. Her love of history and her ability to evoke its human dimension, both comic and tragic, serve as a model for all of her students. When she first suggested tuberculosis to me as a research topic, I recall thinking that with background in neither medicine nor opera, I was ill equipped for (and little interested in) the task. She knew better. Over the years, her advice has been demanding, surprising, constructive, counterintuitive, and unfailingly on target.
My parents have encouraged me at every step of my academic career. Their love of France is more contagious than any disease, and I caught it at an early age; for that alone I am eternally grateful. They have lived the historian’s life vicariously through me, housed me under their roof at various times on both sides of the Atlantic during my research, and provided critical readings of my chapter drafts along the way; they have been instrumental in seeing this project through to fruition. This book is dedicated to them and to the memory of my grandmother and my great-grandmother, who between them taught me to read and taught me to love learning. Finally, I owe a constant and profound debt of gratitude to Joan Batista, teacher, confidante, partner. She has put up with endless talk of germ theory and syndicalism, accompanied me—if not to the ends of the earth—as far as Lisieux and Le Havre, and made setbacks tolerable and good times better. It is both true and inadequate to say that my work and my life are richer because of her.