Regular price: $19.57

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $19.57

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Smallpox, the only infectious disease to have been eradicated, was one of the most terrifying of human scourges. It covered the skin with hideous, painful boils, killed a third of its victims, and left the survivors disfigured for life. In this riveting, often terrifying look at the history of smallpox, Jonathan B. Tucker tells the story of this deadly disease, the heroic efforts to eradicate it worldwide, and the looming dangers it still poses today. Starting in the 16th century, the smallpox virus afflicted rich and poor, royalty and commoners, and repeatedly altered the course of human history.
No safe way of preventing smallpox existed until 1796, when an English country doctor named Edward Jenner developed a vaccine against it. During the ensuing 170 years, vaccination banished smallpox from the industrialized countries, but it remained a major cause of death in the developing world, killing almost two million people per year. Finally, in 1967, the World Health Organization launched an intensified global campaign to eradicate smallpox. By early 1978, the disease had been eliminated worldwide.
During the 1980s, Soviet leaders cynically exploited the world's new vulnerability to smallpox by mass-producing the virus as a strategic weapon. In recent years, concern over the possible return of smallpox has taken an even greater urgency with the realization that clandestine stocks of the virus may still exist.
©2001 Jonathan B. Tucker; (P)2002 Blackstone Audiobooks
Show More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Roderick on 07-26-06

Everyone should listen to this

Well written and read. Can get a little technical but I learned quite a bit from this book. This story is important in understanding more of the ease of spread of current diseases and the near impossible fight against them. Great work...

Read More Hide me

7 of 7 people found this review helpful


By deborah on 12-13-11

Everything you wanted to know about Smallpox

Seminal book on the science and politics of Smallpox throughout history, and the tug of war between states to hold on to the virus for later, possibly destructive, uses. Gives you a great look at the workings of the WHO, and public health in general. Well researched. The author was robably was granted access to WHO and CDC files, naming patients, dates, medical files, etc. The ending is so political that one loses track, but in general, a great book well narrated.

Read More Hide me

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

See all Reviews
© Copyright 1997 - 2018 Audible, Inc