Pox: An American History (Penguin History of American Life)

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Pox : an American history

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Series: The Penguin History of American Life

Please enter the message. Please verify that you are not a robot. Would you also like to submit a review for this item? Around the turn of the 20th Century and even somewhat later the disease was thought to be brought on by outsiders and predominantly male Negroes. And it is true that Blacks and males suffered in disproportionate degrees, but it was due primarily to their proximate living conditions in labor camps of the day and not due to race or gender. Yet, as it typical, society always needs someone to blame. Smallpox was the disease upon which the field of immunology was founded, and helped spur the discovery of two important medical developments; the first being freeze dried vaccines which allowed their potency to last much longer and the second being the bi-bifurcated needle which allowed 4X as many people to be vaccinated with the same amount of innoculant.

The novel aspect of the story is well told in the discussion of various epidemic outbreaks and how the medical and political teams worked together and against each other with each trying to maintain their respective fiefdoms. It is a great read for any person interested in medical history and scientific sleuthing. C'mon Penguin, spring for an editor!

The book covers important material but is so repetitive and disorganized it's practically unreadable. I had to read this book for a class and it was surprisingly interesting.

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Definitely puts the smallpox epidemic into the context of it's time. This is about the conflicts in the history of immunization and it still goes on.

Pox An American History Penguin History of American Life

The author did a great job with the research and writing. This book was recommended to me by a niece. It is an interesting read. Never realized that smallpox was so rampant in the United States. Recommend to anyone interested in this type of history. Feedback If you need help or have a question for Customer Service, contact us.

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Click here Do you believe that this item violates a copyright? Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations. As Willrich notes, for one segment of the anti-vaccinationist movement, the motivation was political. The belief in a right to be left alone placed individual rights above social interests and was grounded in the agrarian world of Jefferson. However, I see the discussions then and now as more similar.

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They both reflect a peculiar American sensibility and national characteristic. While the more organized anti-vaccinationists of shared terminology and beliefs with other anti-vaccine movements elsewhere in the world, the belief system underlying the anti-vaccine movement has been more pervasive, persistent, and potent in America than it has been elsewhere. Furthermore, the same belief system is responsible for the unusually broad, deeply held skepticism in this country today about climate change, genetic engineering, and evolution. This anti-science streak has been and still is an American phenomenon.

Why has the belief system of the 18th century agrarian world persisted and repeatedly blossomed in the US, even during recent years, despite the scientific revolutions of the past century? A recent study provides some insight. In , Miller et al.


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Further analysis suggested that American religious fundamentalism, politicization of science, and scientific literacy were the most important factors in explaining this disparity. However, I think there is more to it.