Captain of All These Men of Death, The

Alejandro Morales


When Robert Contreras attempts to enlist to fight in World War II, he discovers he has tuberculosis and is committed to a sanatorium. There he meets a series of women who profoundly affect his life. Meanwhile, a hospital newsletter details the various ways in which tuberculosis patients have been treated throughout history, drawing parallels to heinous modern-day medical experimentation and to superstitious pagan rituals in California barrios.

Based on the real-life experiences of the author's uncle, The Captain of All These Men of Death explores how tuberculosis has been treated from Hippocrates' times to after World War II and focuses in particular on the disease's effects on Los Angeles' Chicano/Latino community.

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