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Foreign bodies : pandemics, vaccines, and the health of nations / Simon Schama.

Schama, Simon, (author.).

"A vibrant cultural history investigating the tangled and complex history of pandemics and vaccines, by bestselling author and historian Simon Schama."--Publisher's website.
Cities and countries engulfed by panic and death, desperate for vaccines but fearful of what inoculation may bring. This is what the world has just gone through with Covid-19. But as Simon Schama shows in his epic history of vulnerable humanity caught between the terror of contagion and the ingenuity of science, it has happened before. Characteristically, Schama’s message is delivered through gripping, page-turning stories set in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: smallpox strikes London; cholera hits Paris; plague comes to India. Threading through the scenes of terror, suffering and hope – in hospitals and prisons, palaces, and slums – are an unforgettable cast of characters: a philosopher-playwright burning up with smallpox in a country chateau; a vaccinating doctor paying house calls in Halifax; a woman doctor in south India driving her inoculator-carriage through the stricken streets as dead monkeys drop from the trees. But we are also in the labs when great, life-saving breakthroughs happen, in Paris, Hong Kong, and Mumbai. At the heart of it all is an unsung hero: Waldemar Haffkine, a gun-toting Jewish student in Odesa turned microbiologist at the Pasteur Institute, hailed in England as “the saviour of mankind” for vaccinating millions against cholera and bubonic plague in British India while being cold-shouldered by the medical establishment of the Raj. Creator of the world’s first mass production line of vaccines in Mumbai, he is tragically brought down in an act of shocking injustice.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781328974839
  • ISBN: 1328974839
  • Physical Description: xii, 465 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First U.S. edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2023]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 415-440) and index.
Subject: Epidemics > History.
Vaccines > History.
Pandemics > History.
Zoonoses > Epidemiology.
World health.
Globalization > Health aspects.
Nature > Effect of human beings on > History.
Zoonoses > Epidemiology > Popular works.

Available copies

  • 2 of 3 copies available at Lehigh Valley Library System. (Show)
  • 0 of 1 copy available at Bethlehem Area Public Library System.


  • 0 current holds with 3 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Bethlehem Main Library 614.409 (Text) 33062009794331 New Adult Nonfiction Checked Out 12/09/2023

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