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The Pox of Liberty
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The Pox of Liberty: How the Constitution Left Americans Rich, Free, and Prone to Infection

Werner Troesken


This book explores how the American constitutional order shaped public health in the United States from colonial times to the mid-twentieth century. Although political institutions and ideologies are the focal point of the analysis, medical and scientific discoveries play an important secondary role. The analysis focuses on three diseases: smallpox, typhoid fever, and yellow fever. Smallpox was a highly infectious disease, spread mostly through the air. Typhoid was a waterborne disease spread mainly, though not exclusively, through sewage-tainted water. Yellow fever was spread by a mosquito an ... More

Keywords: constitution, law, liberty, disease, public health

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780226922171
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226922195.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Werner Troesken, author