The End of a Global Pox: America and the Eradication of Smallpox in the Cold War Era

The End of a Global Pox: America and the Eradication of Smallpox in the Cold War Era

by Bob H. Reinhardt

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Overview

By the mid-twentieth century, smallpox had vanished from North America and Europe but continued to persist throughout Africa, Asia, and South America. In 1965, the United States joined an international effort to eradicate the disease, and after fifteen years of steady progress, the effort succeeded. Bob H. Reinhardt demonstrates that the fight against smallpox drew American liberals into new and complex relationships in the global Cold War, as he narrates the history of the only cooperative international effort to successfully eliminate a human disease.

Unlike other works that have chronicled the fight against smallpox by offering a "biography" of the disease or employing a triumphalist narrative of a public health victory, The End of a Global Pox examines the eradication program as a complex exercise of American power. Reinhardt draws on methods from environmental, medical, and political history to interpret the global eradication effort as an extension of U.S. technological, medical, and political power. This book demonstrates the far-reaching manifestations of American liberalism and Cold War ideology and sheds new light on the history of global public health and development.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469624105
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 06/24/2015
Series: Flows, Migrations, and Exchanges
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Bob H. Reinhardt is assistant professor of history at Boise State University.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Bob Reinhardt has delivered a rich empirical study and insightful analysis on a fascinating and important topic. Historians have started to more closely examine the history of development and public health in the post-World War II period, but Reinhardt's addition to that of a strong environmental component is rare and needed.—Thomas Robertson, Worcester Polytechnic Institute



Reinhardt makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the success and limitations of smallpox eradication, the history of international public health projects, and the contested application of American soft power throughout the world during and after the Cold War. This is a terrific and much needed book about a fascinating history.—David Kinkela, State University of New York at Fredonia

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