The Contagion of Liberty By Andrew M. Wehrman

  • Narrated by: Timothy Andrés Pabon
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Release date: 12-27-22

The Contagion of Liberty By Andrew M. Wehrman AudioBook Summary

The Revolutionary War broke out during a smallpox epidemic, and in response, General George Washington ordered the inoculation of the Continental Army. But Washington did not have to convince fearful colonists to protect themselves against smallpox. In The Contagion of Liberty, Andrew M. Wehrman describes a revolution within a revolution, where the violent insistence for freedom from disease ultimately helped American colonists achieve independence from Great Britain.

Inoculation, a shocking procedure introduced to America by an enslaved African, became the most sought-after medical procedure of the eighteenth century. Across the colonies, poor Americans rioted for equal access to medicine, while cities and towns shut down for quarantines.

The miraculous discovery of vaccination in the early 1800s posed new challenges that upended the revolutionaries’ dream of disease eradication, and Wehrman reveals that the quintessentially American rejection of universal health care systems has deeper roots than previously known. During a time when some of the loudest voices in the United States are those clamoring against efforts to vaccinate, this richly documented book will appeal to anyone interested in the history of medicine and politics, or who has questioned government action (or lack thereof) during a pandemic.

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