Monuments of Progress by Claudia Agostoni Book PDF Summary
In this groundbreaking book, Claudia Agostoni examines modernization in Mexico City during the era of Porfirio Díaz. She outlines the relationship of "enlightened" ideals of orderliness and hygiene to Mexican initiatives in public health. The implementation of new health policies and programs - such as the construction of a drainage system for the Valley of Mexico - were of utmost importance for the symbolic legitimization of Porfirio Díaz's durable regime (1876-1910), which emphasized modernization over individual rights and liberties. Thus, projects involving drastic engineering measures, authoritarian sanitary administration, and urban improvements were paramount in transforming the city into a healthy environment. Providing detailed analyses of the objectives and activities of the Superior Sanitation Council and, in particular, the work of the sanitary inspectors, Monuments of Progress provides a fresh take on the history of medicine and public health, shifting the emphasis away from the history of epidemic disease and the heroes of medicine to public health in a broader social framework. Agostoni's unique study builds on a small but fast-growing body of literature on the history of public health in Latin America, and it will appeal to scholars with an interest in medical history, urban history, and the history of nineteenth-century Mexico. Born in Mexico City, Claudia Agostoni earned her Ph.D. in Latin American cultural studies from King's College London, University of London. She is currently a full-time researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and lectures in Latin American colonial history.