Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Health of Nations Book Review

I received a free copy of The Health of Nations Towards a World Without Contagious Disease by Karen Bartlett from the Early Reviewers group at Librarything.  It counts, however, as a selection for the New Authors Reading Challenge.  The Health of Nations is a history of the successes and failures of scientists to eradicate diseases such as smallpox and polio from the planet.

The book begins with a few chapters on the effort to eradicate smallpox from the planet.  The effort was successful!  The author then takes us to the fight to find a vaccine for polio as well as attempting to remove the disease from all nations.  A chapter on Bill Gates' activities in this effort is included.  The author continues her history of 20th century diseases with malaria, HIV, measles, and ebola.  The anti-vaccine movement is also covered.

I am a layperson and found the book to be an interesting read.  However, it is a must read for medical professionals.  It names the doctors and scientists who had involvement in each of these diseases and what their specific contributions were.  The politics of the medical profession as well as the activities of the World Health Organization are discussed in detail. This is a great resource for future generations as well.  Maintaining the history of the fight against these diseases is important.

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