The Fever of 1721

The Fever of 1721

The Epidemic That Revolutionized Medicine and American Politics

Book - 2016
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In The Fever of 1721, Stephen Coss brings to life an amazing cast of characters in a year that changed the course of medical history, American journalism, and colonial revolution. During the worst smallpox epidemic in Boston history Puritan preacher Cotton Mather convinced Doctor Zabdiel Boylston to try a procedure that he believed would prevent death--by making an incision in the arm of a healthy person and implanting it with smallpox. "Inoculation" led to vaccination, one of the most profound medical discoveries in history. Public outrage forced Boylston into hiding, and Mather's house was firebombed. A political fever also raged. Elisha Cooke was challenging the Crown for control of the colony and finally forced Royal Governor Samuel Shute to flee Massachusetts. Samuel Adams and the Patriots would build on this to resist the British in the run-up to the American Revolution. And a bold young printer James Franklin (who was on the wrong side of the controversy on inoculation), launched America's first independent newspaper and landed in jail. His teenage brother and apprentice, Benjamin Franklin, however, learned his trade in James's shop and became a father of the Independence movement. One by one, the atmosphere in Boston in 1721 simmered and ultimately boiled over, leading to the full drama of the American Revolution.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2016.
New York : Simon & Schuster, 2016.
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Copyright Date: ℗♭2016.
ISBN: 9781476783086
147678308X
Characteristics: 350 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : 25 cm.

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m
Mahjo
May 17, 2016

Fascinating confluence of events but not written in a synthesized manner, sometimes portentous without payoff. I moved to Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin as an antidote.

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