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Historical Perspectives on Reducing Maternal Mortality, Part I: Pare Lorentz's "The Fight for Life" and the Maternal Health Movement of the Interwar Years

Date: October 2, 2008 to October 2, 2008 
Time: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Speaker(s): Bert Hansen, Ph.D., Baruch College of The City University of New York

Sponsored by: Section on the History of Medicine and Public Health

Location: The New York Academy of Medicine

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the New York Academy of Medicine’s groundbreaking study, “Maternal Mortality in New York City,” the Section on the History of Medicine and Public Health is sponsoring a screening of "The Fight for Life." This 1940 film by master filmmaker Pare Lorentz tells the story of the pioneering Chicago Maternity Center and is based on portions of Paul De Kruif's 1938 book of the same name.

Bert Hansen, PhD, Professor of History at Baruch College of The City University of New York, will introduce the film. Professor Hansen teaches courses on American civilization and on the history of science and medicine; among his chief research interests is the history of how scientific and medical knowledge is disseminated to the general public.

Read the original report

Lecture and film screening at 6:00 p.m.; light refreshments at 5:30 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information about the lecture series sponsored by the Section on the History of Medicine and Public Health, please click here or contact Arlene Shaner at 212-822-7313 or email


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