Director, Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society and Beck Archives
Professor, University Libraries
University of Denver
Sturm Hall, Room 162
2000 E. Asbury Ave.
Denver, CO 80208
Phone: 303-871-3016 and 303-871-2977
Jeanne Abrams is a professor at the University Libraries at the University of Denver.
Since 1982, she has been the director of the Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society and Beck Archives —part of the Center for Judaic Studies and the University Libraries at DU.
Several DU faculty were recently recognized for their outstanding contributions to the University of Denver during the 2014-2015 academic year. The awards were presented at the Faculty and Staff Awards Luncheon in October. Dr. Jeanne Abrams, professor in the Center for Judaic Studies and University Libraries, was named the University Lecturer. This award is given once a year in recognition of superlative creative and scholarly work, and Abrams has gained a national reputation in the fields of American Jewish and American medical history. Abrams is curator of the Beck Archives of Rocky Mountain Jewish History, Special Collections, at University Libraries. She is the author of Revolutionary Medicine: The Founding Fathers and Mothers in Sickness and in Health, about the state of health care during colonial times. It was published in 2013 by New York University Press. The book received wide attention in scholarly journals and media print, including a prominent review in the Wall Street Journal. It was also names one of the “Top Books for Docs” for 2013 by Medscape. Abrams is also the author of Jewish Women Pioneering the Frontier Trail, A History in the West and Dr. Charles David Spivak: A Jewish Immigrant and the American Tuberculosis Movement as well as numerous essays and articles in scholarly and popular journals and magazines.
Dr. Abrams was one of the primary featured speakers in a recent Rocky Mountain PBS special titled “Colorado Jewish Pioneers.” She was interviewed extensively and dozens of photos from the Beck Archives of Rocky Mountain Jewish History, part of the CJS and University Libraries appeared in the film.
Dr. Abrams’s most recent article, “Death Stalks the Capital,” appeared in the February issue of American History Magazine. It focused on the lives of America’s founders during the notorious Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic of 1793.
Dr. Abrams's latest book,
Revolutionary Medicine: The Founding Fathers and Mothers in Sickness and in Health
(New York University Press, 2013), examines the lives of George and Martha Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John and Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James and Dolley Madison, has received many accolades since it was published. The Wall Street Journal, the newspaper with the largest circulation in the U.S., gave the book a lengthy, positive review, calling it a "readable and eye-opening account."
praised Revolutionary Medicine as "so engaging... fascinating reading for students of both history and medicine." And
History in Review
termed the volume a "compelling work... a keen overview of the state of medical science during the revolutionary period... [Abrams] writes in an engaging narrative style that makes this work accessible to both academics and lay readers with an interest in American history, or the history of medicine and public health in the 18th century." Medscape, an online magazine/resource for physicians and other health care professionals, which reached over 600,000 subscribers, named
Revolutionary Medicine one of the "Top Books for Docs" for 2013.
Dr. Abrams spoke about her book at the Denver CU Anschutz Medical Center in March, at the Fraunces Tavern Museum (The Colonial Museum of New York) in New York City on April 16th, and at the Louisville Public Library on June 1, 2014. She also presented at the DU OLLI program on Revolutionary Medicine on October 24, 2014 and made another presentation about Revolutionary Medicine on November 4, 2013 at the University of Kansas School of Medicine.
On October 21st, 2014 Jeanne led a very popular salon for the DU AHSS division titled, "Roger's and Hammerstein's South Pacific: WWII, The Quest for Social Justice, and the American Musical."
Dr. Abrams is also the author of Jewish Women Pioneering the Frontier Trail: A History in the American West (NYU Press 2006) and Dr. Charles David Spivak: A Jewish Immigrant and the American Tuberculosis Crusade (University Press of Colorado), as well as numerous articles in the fields of American, Jewish, and medical history which have appeared in scholarly journals and popular magazines.
- Revolutionary Medicine: The Founding Fathers and Mothers in Sickness and in Health (New York University Press, 2013).
- " David May ." in Immigrant Entrepreneurship: The German-American Business Biography, 1720 to the Present, vol. 3, edited by Giles R. Hoyt. (Washington, D.C.: German Historical Institute, April 05, 2012).
- "Benjamin Altman." In Immigrant Entrepreneurship: The German-American Business Biography, 1720 to the Present, vol. 2, edited by William J. Hausman. (Washington, D.C.: German Historical Institute, September 23, 2011).
- Abrams, Jeanne, "Spitting is Dangerous, Indecent, and Against the Law,": Legislating Health Behavior During the American Tuberculosis Crusade," Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences (January, 2011).
- "In Search of Health and Wealth: Denver's Early Jewish Community," Denver Inside and Out (Colorado History, vol. 16, 2011).
- "On the Road Again: Consumptives Traveling for Health in the American West, 1840-1925," Great Plains Quarterly, (Fall 2010).
- Dr. Charles David Spivak: A Jewish Immigrant and the American Tuberculosis Movement (University Press of Colorado, 2009)
- Jewish Denver, 1859 – 1940 (Arcadia Press, 2007)
- Jewish Women Pioneering the Frontier Trail: A History in the West (New York University Press, 2006)
- Blazing the Tuberculosis Trail: The Religio-ethnic Role of Four Sanatoria in Early Denver (Colorado Historical Society, 1990)
PhD, American History, University of Colorado-Boulder