The Fever of 1721: The Epidemic That Revolutionized Medicine and American Politics by Stephen Coss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read an adult nonfiction book that wasn't a memoir--it's a miracle!
I had every intention of skimming this one, until the next thing you know, I'm at 30% on my Kindle. Fascinating stuff here, and this history minor ended up highlighting a lot of passages. I started reading it because I had quite a few ancestors living in Boston and Cambridge during this time, and I wanted to learn more about the time period. Crazy to think that the Franklins and their newspaper were like the Colbert of their time--I bet those young men were the toast of the taverns!
Best parts of the book though were about the smallpox epidemic. Honestly, I knew nothing about inoculation, and I find it fascinating that Cotton Mather of the Salem witch trials fame, was a supporter. I loved learning how Africans and the Chinese were ahead of the Europeans on this topic.
I loved all the tidbits--for example, did you name that Cotton's son Creasy (Increase like his grandpa) "impregnated a prostitute in 1716" Ha! I know one of my ancestor's died on the Mayflower before he got off the boat--I wonder if smallpox killed him?
Anyway, if you read history, read this. Great stuff.
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