This book provides needed perspective on neglected topics in the history of medical missions. Wall focuses on Catholic women medical missionaries working in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and, to a lesser degree, Uganda after the First World War. Citing Adrian Hastings, she notes the significance of this period because the Catholic missionary movement was ‘accelerating; in the 1950s there were more foreign missionaries in Africa than ever before’ (p. 1). This period saw important changes in mission-sending and mission-receiving nations. Wall examines the professionalisation of Euro-American women medics, their political engagement (more with civil rights than with the women’s movement), and the indigenisation of medical work in newly independent African nations.

Wall highlights transnationalism but acknowledges the term’s contested definition. She uses it generally to situate the Catholic ‘sisters’ practices [as]...

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