Meeting of October 12, 2023

Carole Adrienne on “Healing a Divided Nation: How the American Civil War Revolutionized Western Medicine”

At the start of the Civil War, the medical field in America was rudimentary, unsanitary, and woefully underprepared to address what would become the bloodiest conflict on U.S. soil. However, in this historic moment of pivotal social and political change, medicine was also fast evolving to meet the needs of the time. Unprecedented strides were made in the science of medicine, and as women and African Americans were admitted into the field for the first time.

The Civil War marked a revolution in healthcare as a whole, laying the foundations for the system we know today. In Healing a Divided Nation, Carole Adrienne tracks this remarkable and bloody transformation in its cultural and historical context, illustrating how the advancements made in these four years reverberated throughout the western world for years to come.

Carole Adrienne received her B.F.A. from Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia. She has organized an archive for Old St. Joseph’s National Shrine, twice chaired “Archives Week” in Philadelphia, and has served on advisory panels for the Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center, The Mutter Museum’s “Civil War Medicine” exhibit and its “Spit Spreads Death: The 1918 Flu Epidemic” exhibit. She is working on a documentary film series on Civil War medicine and lives in Philadelphia, PA. This is her first book.