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From the Publisher"copious illustrations are of considerable interest. ...Historians of medicine and public health may want to add it to their collections."
—Warren Winkelstein, Jr. for BULL. HIST. MED.(2002
Every one of us can be glad - for ourselves, for our children - that humankind has triumphed in eradicating smallpox from the world.
What toll of human suffering lies in the past? How many died or were disfigured by this cruel disease? Where did it come from, how was it transmitted? How did Edward Jenner, a humble country doctor bring about a revolution in vaccination that changed history in an almost unparalleled manner?
What has happened since then to eradicate this disease, and how have we managed the world's remaining stocks of the virus - kept under the tightest security in two sites in Russia and the USA?
Our lives have all benefited immeasurably from the history recounted here. Thoroughly researched, and written in an engaging style by Hervé Bazin, the story of the eradication of smallpox - from it's first known origins to the present day - is a fascinating, heart-rending, humorous and uplifting tale. Illustrated with 120 photographs, many originating from unique historical plates in the author's private collection, this book is just testimony to the success of immunology and virology, and marks the 20th anniversary of the global eradication of this infectious disease.
"Since the discovery of the vaccine is the only one that medicine has achieved in the current period, it will suffice as an eternal illustration of our period in the history of science, and to immortalise the name of Jenner by assigning him an eminent place amongst the principal benefactors of humanity."
The book contains black-and-white illustrations.
This important work describes the life and work of Jenner in the context of the eradication of Smallpox. The Smallpox virus has been the cause of vast human suffering. Smallpox was endemic in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries, and had been responsible for the deaths of at least one tenth of the population for a long period of time. Edward Jenner's revolutionary vaccine not only spared the lives of many millions of people, but laid the foundation for modern vaccinology, which is probably the most important medical advance of this century.
Chronology: The life of Edward Jenner
For those who have forgotten or never knew what smallpox was like:
On the long struggle of man, before Jenner, to fight smallpox.
The life and work of Jenner:
The young Jenner (1749-1772).
Jenner, naturalist and country surgeon.
The myth becomes reality (1795-1798).
Jenner's hard-won victory in England, his own country.
The particular case of Napoleonic France.
Vaccination spreads across Europe and the United States and then throughout the rest of the world.
Honours and resentment for Jenner (1801-1823).
The perfect ending to the story: the eradication of smallpox:
Post-Jennerian vaccination (1823-1979).
Smallpox vaccination: its value and its limitations.
The anti-vaccination movements (1798-1979).
The eradication of smallpox: Jenner's posthumous triumph.
Jenner, vaccination and ethics (1796 to the present day).
What should be done about the smallpox virus?
Some comments on current immunity to smallpox.