image of the book cover of Monuments of Progress: Modernization and Public Health in Mexico City, 1876-1910

Monuments of Progress: Modernization and Public Health in Mexico City, 1876-1910

Claudia Agostoni

$49.95 HC / $34.95 PB (S)

245 pages, 13 illustrations

6 x 9 inches

Hardback: 978-1-55238-094-9

Hardback: 1552380947

Paperback: 978-1-55238-1-038

April 2003

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In this groundbreaking book, Claudia Agostoni examines modernization in Mexico City during the era of Porfirio D’az.

With 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 by shifting away from the history of epidemic disease and heroic accounts of medical men and toward looking at public health in a broader social framework.

Agostini outlines the relationship between “enlightened” ideals of orderliness and hygiene to Mexican initiatives in public health. The implementation of new health policies and programs were of utmost importance for the symbolic legitimization of Porfirio D’az’s long-lasting regime (1876-1910), which emphasized modernization over individual rights and liberties.

This unique study builds on a small, but fast-growing, body of literature on the history of public health in Latin America and represents a growing interest in the social and cultural history of public health in this area.

About the Author

Claudia Agostoni is a researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Hisóricas, at Universidad

Praise for Monuments of Progress

Until now there has been no adequate English-language study of the fascinating history of Mexican public health before the 1910 Revolution . . . The author makes a valuable effort—with few precedents in Latin American historiography—to link environmental, urban, and public health histories.

—Marcos Cueto, Bulletin of the History of Medicine

This book is well written and well organized . . . very interesting and useful.

—John Tiefenbacher, Environmental History

A solid, interesting contribution to the history of Mexico.

—Whilliam H. Breezley, professor of History, University of Arizona

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables

Urban Ideas and Projects for Mexico City: The Late Eighteenth Century
Urban Space and Public Health
The Unsanitary City
Viceroy Revillagigedo and Urban Sanitation

The Control of the Environment
The Community of Hygienists
The Contradictory Proofs of Progress and the City
Dangerous Elements
Elements of a Healthy City

The Expansion and Diagnosis of the City
The Expansion of the City
The Superior Sanitation Council and the Sanitary Code
The Memoirs of the Sanitary Inspectors
The Diagnosis of the City

The Modern City
Towards the Secular City
The Image of the Modern City
Monuments and the 1877 Degree
Ahuitzotl and Itzcoatl
Benito Juarez and Independence
Monumental Space and Cleanliness

The Conquest of Water
The Problem: Water
The Drainage System
The Sewage System
Hygiene in the Centennial Celebrations and the Porfirinan Inheritance