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Author Kertzer, David I., 1948-

Title Amalia's tale : an impoverished peasant woman, an ambitious attorney, and a fight for justice / David I. Kertzer.

Publication Info. Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, [2008]


Location Call No. Status
 West Hartford, Noah Webster Library - Non Fiction  344.4541 KERTZER    Check Shelf
Description xii, 237 pages ; 22 cm
Note Subtitle on jacket: A poor peasant, an ambitious attorney, and a fight for justice.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 201-227) and index.
Contents An unexpected visitor -- The fateful day -- The first signs -- Suing the count -- The mercury treatment -- The trial begins -- Disputing the doctor -- The parade of the syphilitic peasants -- The psychiatrist's attack -- The miserly syphilologist -- A new champion -- Conflicting opinions -- The tribunal decides -- Amalia's appeal -- The loan -- The counteroffensive -- Mixed news from the Supreme Court -- A split decision -- A staggering sum -- Amalia's lawyer submits his bill -- Lives lost and lives saved -- Aristocrats, lawyers, doctors, and peasants : Amalia looks back -- Postscript : recovering buried history.
Summary An impoverished Italian peasant in the late 19th century, Amalia was hired as a wet nurse and contracted syphilis from the infant assigned her by a Bologna foundling home. She in turn spread the disease to her husband and their baby daughter and sons. Her plight was common in a Europe plagued for centuries by poverty, prostitution, venereal disease and legal-religious mores that forced unwed mothers to give up their newborns to institutions where they would be nursed by strangers. But Amalia took the very modern step of suing the foundling home and its aristocratic board, helped by a young lawyer eager to impose a scientific, bureaucratically controlled regimen on an antiquated welfare system. Amalia's court victory over the Italian medical establishment was no feel-good triumph of justice: her lawyer took every penny of the huge settlement she won, and the system of bottle-feeding prompted by her suit killed most of the foundlings subjected to it.
Subject Bagnacavalli, Amalia -- Trials, litigation, etc. -- History.
Bologna (Italy) -- Trials, litigation, etc. -- History.
Trials (Malpractice) -- Italy -- Bologna -- History.
Barbieri, Augusto.
Medical personnel -- Malpractice -- Italy -- Bologna -- History.
Medical laws and legislation -- Italy -- Criminal provisions.
Negligence, Criminal -- Italy.
Lawyers -- Italy -- Bologna -- History.
ISBN 9780618551064 alkaline paper
0618551069 alkaline paper
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