Life and Death of Smallpox

Life and Death of Smallpox

3.04 (22 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
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Description

From ancient Egypt, India and China, smallpox spread around the world. It defeated armies, relieved sieges, killed emperors, played havoc with dynasties, helped to establish Buddhism in Japan, and at about the time of Muhammad's birth it stopped Christian Abyssinians from capturing a still pagan Mecca. When individual epidemics were killing tens of thousands in the early 18th century, the adoption of the 'folk-medicine' practice of inoculating with smallpox itself gave some protection to those inoculated - but at the cost of spreading the infection. In the 1790s Edward Jenner's brilliant experiments in 'vaccinating' with cowpox brought hope, not only of saving lives but also of eventually eradicating the disease. The practice spread round the world astonishingly fast. It took over two hundred years to achieve world-wide eradication; and it remains a magnificent and so far a unique scientific and political achievement. But now smallpox is one of the first choices for international bio-terrorism. This book tells the fascinating and frightening story of this terrifying disease, from the pustules on the mummy of Ramses V to current anxieties - a brilliant mixture of history, science and politics.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 152 x 236 x 30mm | 557.93g
  • Profile Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 1861976089
  • 9781861976086

About Ian Glynn

Ian Glynn is Professor of Immunology at Cambridge and Fellow of Trinity College, an FRS and FRCP. His An Anatomy of Thought, was published by Weidenfeld & Nicholson in 1999. Jenifer Glynn is a Cambridge historian who has written a number of books including one on her sister, Rosalind Franklin, the co-discoverer of DNA.show more

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22 ratings
3.04 out of 5 stars
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1 18% (4)
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