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James H. Young, 90; History Professor Was Expert on Health Quacks

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

James Harvey Young, 90, an emeritus professor of history at Emory University and a nationally recognized expert on health quackery and the advent of federal food regulation, died July 29 in Atlanta of complications from a stroke.

Young examined the history of health quackery in “The Toadstool Millionaires” (1961), a social history of the subject through the 19th century into the days of federal regulation, and “The Medical Messiahs” (1967), which looked at the subject through the 20th century with its false cures for diseases, including cancer. A collection of his essays on the subject, “American Health Quackery,” was published in 1992.

In another book, “Pure Food: Securing the Federal Food and Drugs Act of 1906" (1989), Young looked at the carriers of food-borne illnesses and the imposition of federal regulations.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Young earned his bachelor’s degree at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., and his doctorate in American history from the University of Illinois. He began teaching at Emory University in 1941 and taught at Emory until his retirement in 1984. He served in the Army during World War II.

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