Elena Conis

Feb 2, 2015

Vaccine Nation

America's Changing Relationship with Immunization

University of Chicago Press 2014

purchase at bookshop.org The 1960s marked a "new era of vaccination," when Americans eagerly exposed their arms and hind ends for shots that would prevent a range of everyday illnesses--not only prevent the lurking killers, like polio. Medical historian Elena Conis shows that Americans' gradual acceptance of vaccination was far from a medical fait accompli: it was--and remains--a political accomplishment that has stemmed from a patchwork of efforts to expose children, in particular, to compulsory vaccine programs. Grown in the culture of postwar American politics, vaccines deliver more than prophylactics. They succor a set of assumptions about economic inequality, racial difference, sexual norms, and gendered divisions of labor. Vaccine Nation: America's Changing Relationship with Immunization (University of Chicago, 2014) is a timely and accessible social history of American policy and practices towards vaccination that shows how support for vaccination has rarely advanced for medical reasons alone.

Listen on the New Books Network:

Listen to more episodes on:

Your Host

Laura Stark

Laura Stark is Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University’s Center for Medicine, Health, and Society, and Associate Editor of the journal History & Theory.

Learn More

Also Hosted By Laura Stark