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.
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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