Author: Michael Willrich
Publisher: The Penguin Press
Pub. Date: March 31, 2011
I think I've been spoiled by narrative non-fiction. Many of you know that for the most part, non-fiction has been a fairly new genre of book enjoyment for me. I've been reading more of it lately but am finding that what I really like is the inclusion of the personal stories throughout and the feeling of learning extraneous topics through the telling of a person's experiences, in some manner.
However, while some parts of the book lost my interest over the course of the pages, I found other parts fascinating. In some ways, the topic was very relevant to today. I never realized the controversy over vaccinations went back to the 1800's! Currently, I'm a proponent of vaccinations. But the thought of, back then, being forced to have immunizations was scary. (Especially since it was adults, too, that they were forcing the immunizations on). Pox provided a lot of food for thought on the line between civil rights and government imposed health sanctions, even when they're imposed for the benefit of the community at large. Pox also brought up things I never thought of before. You know those indented scars that many people have on their arms as a result of vaccinations? Well, at one point this proof of vaccination was even used as that specific categorical identification.
"Watching with dismay as smallpox spread across the American heartland in 1901, Dr. James Hyde of Chicago's Rush Medical School urged state and local governments to use their full police powers to eradicate this affront to modern civilization. Like many of his professional peers, Hyde found the metaphor of the vaccine scar as passport irresistible. He urged that American governments require this medical mark for entry into the country's civic spaces.... In one respect, vaccination seemed superior to a printed identity document; this government-certified ticket of immunity was stamped indelibly upon the body. Seasoned health officials did not trust the paper vaccination certificates issued by private physicians; they always asked to see the scar." (pg. 227-228)Surprisingly, this chapter goes on to describe how people did, in fact, try to "forge" vaccination scars by creating fake ones onto their bodies.
Follow the rest of the tour:
Thursday, March 31st: Man of La Book
Monday, April 4th: Aetiology
Wednesday, April 6th: Book Club Classics!
Thursday, April 7th: Raging Bibliomania
Wednesday, April 13th: Superbug
Thursday, April 14th: Sophisticated Dorkiness
Monday, April 18th: Bookworm’s Dinner
Tuesday, April 19th: In the Next Room
Wednesday, April 20th: Rhapsody In Books
Thursday, April 21st: Take Me Away
Monday, April 25th: Mommypotamus
Tuesday, April 26th: Eclectic/Eccentric
Wednesday, April 27th: Life Is A Patchwork Quilt
Thursday, April 28th: PhD in Parenting
Monday, May 2nd: Amy Reads
Date TBD: Ruby Slippers