Michael Bennett is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Tasmania. He is the author of four books on late medieval England and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities and a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge.
'It's as commonplace as it is true to say that infectious disease knows no borders. In War Against Smallpox, Michael Bennett offers us something immeasurably more intriguing: the border crossing of vaccination. Bennett follows this strange procedure's rapid-fire travels from London to Spain, India, the Cape, the New World, China and beyond. And as if that intercontinental story is not fascinating enough, it all took place either side of 1800, as the global Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars wrenched the world into a new century. A major new global history. The world connected arm-to-arm.' Alison Bashford, University of New South Wales 'A valuable account by a leading scholar of the subject, one that skilfully links the global range of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century engagement with smallpox. The global spread of vaccination illustrates more general points about processes of learning, information, technology and diffusion. Methodologically acute and conceptually significant.' Jeremy Black, University of Exeter 'This impressive culmination of 15 years of research minutely details the international spread not of variola virus, but of its containment.' Kate Womersley, The Spectator