[Group of 28 items by public health activist Walter J. Lear (1923-2010)]. Walter J. Lear.
[Group of 28 items by public health activist Walter J. Lear (1923-2010)]

[Group of 28 items by public health activist Walter J. Lear (1923-2010)]

[Philadelphia]: the author, 1969-2007. Twenty-eight staplebound packets or leaflets, generally very good, by the physician who held an abiding interest in the role of left-wing activism in health care. These papers were either drafts of articles, texts of speeches reproduced for a limited audience, or handouts for distribution at events. Lear’s archives are held at Penn; these are duplicates from his papers, obtained from his estate.

Lear came out as gay while serving on Philadelphia’s Health Commission in 1975; he describes this personal experience in “GLPHWC Roots,” one of the packets in this group. In another, “Otherviews,” he describes himself as “Philadelphia’s oldest gay activist.” He went on to direct the US Health Left History Center in Philadelphia. Some of the later items in this group were made for distribution at the Center.

The lot contains the following papers:

Why physicians and other health workers should be and have been socialists, radicals, and left activists (undated, 9 pages, draft with some pen marks).

Health issues and program needs in Philadelphia (1970 statement, dittoed in 1971, 3 pages).

Remarks at Group Health Conference (1970, 4 pages).

What’s wrong with Liberal statements on what’s wrong with health care, or, an appeal to humanize and democratize health care (1969, 4 pages; also included is a 1970 ditto of a 1969 summary of the talk, 3 pages).

Medicine men, systems technology, presidential campaigns and other perils to be encountered… (Text of 1971 address from the AAAS, retyped and printed from a computer in the 1990s).

Interview with M. Ramphile [Dr. Mamphela Ramphele], 5/24/84, NYC [envelope containing computer printout of his interview, with some pen marks, together with the correspondence that led to his interview with this visiting medical activist from South Africa].

Talk at Fourth Anniversary dinner of BAPHR (Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights). (1981, but a later printing, 5 pages).

Der Rote Schmidt: a 19th century model of being both eminent physician and political activist (undated, 30p., together with an incomplete preliminary draft; a version was printed in the Transactions and Studies of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 1989; an offprint is included here).

GLPHWC Roots (1990, 3 pages; on the Gay / Lesbian Public Health Workers Caucus)

Trouble, trouble, who’s got the trouble? (1991 talk, 17 pages).

Talk at the Physician Forum’s annual dinner (1994, 4 pages).

Otherviews (1996, 3 pages)

The American Health Left, 1870-1980 (working copy of a 1996 speech in Greece, 8 pages, together with a synopsis handout distributed at the talk, 3 pages).

Health Left (1997, 18 pages).

The US health left: historical perspectives (1997 talk at the Brecht Forum, 14 pages).

International activities of American health leftists: a necessary, hazardous and influential tradition (1998, presented at a Socialist Caucus session of APHA, two versions, a 13 page draft with handwritten additions, and the final 15p. version).

The unique US health activism history collection of the Institute of Social Medicine and Community Health (2003 talk from a London conference, 11 pages, corner stained; also included is a pictorial handout for the talk).

The unique US health activism history collection of the University of Pennsylvania Rare Book and Manuscript Library and the Institute of Social Medicine and Community Health (shorter, revised version of the above talk, given 2005 in Philadelphia, 4 pages).

Social justice – the original foundation of pediatrics and its continuing inspiration (2007 Irving Mauss Lecture, 23p., together with a pictorial handout distributed at the event).

War is not healthy for children and other living things (undated, but from the 2000s, 10 pages).

The nation’s first medical student and house staff movement, 1934-1954 (1998 talk at AAHM, 21 pages).

National Health Care Plan Advocacy Centennial: the Chronology (2003-?, 14 pages).

The Pink and Red Physicians of the 1930s and 1940s (two different versions of the 2006 packet, 8 pages, distributed at the US Health Left History Center in Philadelphia)

US Health professionals oppose war (2007, 6p., distributed at the US Health Left History Center in Philadelphia)

In addition to these items, there is an envelope containing a packet of handwritten notes, a packet containing part 2 only of an interview with Robert J. Brand, a couple of photocopies of published articles, a paper by George Silver on “The Health Left, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s,” and some minor ephemera related to Lear's activism.


Cat.No: 253199

Price: $350.00