skip to content
Pox : an American history Preview this item
ClosePreview this item
Checking...

Pox : an American history

Author: Michael Willrich
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2011.
Series: Penguin history of American life.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Chronicles how America's Progressive Era war on smallpox sparked one of the twentieth century's leading civil liberties battles, describing the views and tactics of anti-vaccine advocates who feared an increasingly large government.
Rating:

based on 1 rating(s) 1 with a review

Subjects
More like this

 

Find a copy in the library

&AllPage.SpinnerRetrieving; Finding libraries that hold this item...

Details

Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Michael Willrich
ISBN: 9781594202865 1594202869
OCLC Number: 648922587
Description: 422 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Contents: Beginnings --
The mild type --
Wherever Wertenbaker went --
War is health --
The stable and the laboratory --
The politics of tight spaces --
The antivaccinationists --
Speaking law to power.
Series Title: Penguin history of American life.
Responsibility: Michael Willrich.
More information:

Abstract:

Chronicles how America's Progressive Era war on smallpox sparked one of the twentieth century's leading civil liberties battles, describing the views and tactics of anti-vaccine advocates who feared an increasingly large government.

At the turn of the last century, a powerful smallpox epidemic swept the United States from coast to coast. The age-old disease spread swiftly through an increasingly interconnected American landscape: from southern tobacco plantations to the dense immigrant neighborhoods of northern cities to far-flung villages on the edges of the nascent American empire. In Pox, award-winning historian Michael Willrich offers a gripping chronicle of how the nation's continentwide fight against smallpox launched one of the most important civil liberties struggles of the twentieth century. At the dawn of the activist Progressive era and during a moment of great optimism about modern medicine, the government responded to the deadly epidemic by calling for universal compulsory vaccination. To enforce the law, public health authorities relied on quarantines, pesthouses, and "virus squads"-corps of doctors and club-wielding police. Though these measures eventually contained the disease, they also sparked a wave of popular resistance among Americans who perceived them as a threat to their health and to their rights. At the time, anti-vaccinationists were often dismissed as misguided cranks, but Willrich argues that they belonged to a wider legacy of American dissent that attended the rise of an increasingly powerful government. While a well-organized anti-vaccination movement sprang up during these years, many Americans resisted in subtler ways-by concealing sick family members or forging immunization certificates. Pox introduces us to memorable characters on both sides of the debate, from Henning Jacobson, a Swedish Lutheran minister whose battle against vaccination went all the way to the Supreme Court, to C. P. Wertenbaker, a federal surgeon who saw himself as a medical missionary combating a deadly-and preventable-disease. As the author suggests, many of the questions first raised by the Progressive-era antivaccination movement are still with us: How far should the government go to protect us from peril? What happens when the interests of public health collide with religious beliefs and personal conscience? In Pox, Willrich delivers a riveting tale about the clash of modern medicine, civil liberties, and government power at the turn of the last century that resonates powerfully today. -- Publisher Description

Reviews

User-contributed reviews

WorldCat User Reviews (1)

Fascinating social, legal, medical history

by whisner (WorldCat user published 2012-02-19) Excellent Permalink

The smallpox outbreaks between 1895 and 1905 illustrate many important themes. You might expect medical history, and of course it's there, but there's much more.

Race: Some outbreaks began in the African American community, spread by itinerant workers moving between jobs on the railroad or...
Read more...  Read more...

  • Was this review helpful to you?
  •   
Retrieving GoodReads reviews...
Retrieving DOGObooks reviews...

Tags

All user tags (5)

View most popular tags as: tag list | tag cloud

Confirm this request

You may have already requested this item. Please select Ok if you would like to proceed with this request anyway.

Linked Data


<http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/648922587>
library:oclcnum"648922587"
library:placeOfPublication
library:placeOfPublication
owl:sameAs<info:oclcnum/648922587>
rdf:typeschema:Book
schema:about
schema:about
schema:about
schema:about
schema:about
schema:about
schema:about
schema:about
schema:about
schema:about
schema:about
schema:about
schema:about
schema:about
schema:about
schema:about
schema:about
schema:about
schema:about
schema:about
schema:about
schema:about
schema:creator
schema:datePublished"2011"
schema:description"Chronicles how America's Progressive Era war on smallpox sparked one of the twentieth century's leading civil liberties battles, describing the views and tactics of anti-vaccine advocates who feared an increasingly large government."@en
schema:description"At the turn of the last century, a powerful smallpox epidemic swept the United States from coast to coast. The age-old disease spread swiftly through an increasingly interconnected American landscape: from southern tobacco plantations to the dense immigrant neighborhoods of northern cities to far-flung villages on the edges of the nascent American empire. In Pox, award-winning historian Michael Willrich offers a gripping chronicle of how the nation's continentwide fight against smallpox launched one of the most important civil liberties struggles of the twentieth century. At the dawn of the activist Progressive era and during a moment of great optimism about modern medicine, the government responded to the deadly epidemic by calling for universal compulsory vaccination. To enforce the law, public health authorities relied on quarantines, pesthouses, and "virus squads"-corps of doctors and club-wielding police. Though these measures eventually contained the disease, they also sparked a wave of popular resistance among Americans who perceived them as a threat to their health and to their rights. At the time, anti-vaccinationists were often dismissed as misguided cranks, but Willrich argues that they belonged to a wider legacy of American dissent that attended the rise of an increasingly powerful government. While a well-organized anti-vaccination movement sprang up during these years, many Americans resisted in subtler ways-by concealing sick family members or forging immunization certificates. Pox introduces us to memorable characters on both sides of the debate, from Henning Jacobson, a Swedish Lutheran minister whose battle against vaccination went all the way to the Supreme Court, to C. P. Wertenbaker, a federal surgeon who saw himself as a medical missionary combating a deadly-and preventable-disease. As the author suggests, many of the questions first raised by the Progressive-era antivaccination movement are still with us: How far should the government go to protect us from peril? What happens when the interests of public health collide with religious beliefs and personal conscience? In Pox, Willrich delivers a riveting tale about the clash of modern medicine, civil liberties, and government power at the turn of the last century that resonates powerfully today. -- Publisher Description"@en
schema:description"Beginnings -- The mild type -- Wherever Wertenbaker went -- War is health -- The stable and the laboratory -- The politics of tight spaces -- The antivaccinationists -- Speaking law to power."@en
schema:exampleOfWork<http://worldcat.org/entity/work/id/519821281>
schema:genre"History."@en
schema:genre"History"@en
schema:inLanguage"en"
schema:name"Pox : an American history"@en
schema:numberOfPages"422"
schema:publisher
schema:url
schema:workExample

Content-negotiable representations

Close Window

Please sign in to WorldCat 

Don't have an account? You can easily create a free account.