The Health of Nations

The Campaign to End Polio and Eradicate Epidemic Diseases


About The Book

‘Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.’ – Jonas Salk, inventor of one of the first successful polio vaccines

No one will die of smallpox again…

One of the worst killers ever is now consigned to history – perhaps the greatest humanitarian achievement of our age. Now polio, malaria and measles are on the hit list.

Karen Bartlett tells the dramatic story of the history of eradication and takes us to the heart of modern campaigns. From high-tech labs in America to the poorest corners of Africa and the Middle East, we see the tremendous challenges those on the front lines face every day, and how they take us closer to a brave new world.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (March 2, 2017)
  • Length: 336 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781786070692

Raves and Reviews

‘A fantastic story about the oddballs and outcasts, hippies and billionaires who have saved millions and millions of lives. As exciting as a thriller and with a happy ending that gives us hope for humankind.’

– Johan Norberg, author of Progress

‘Well-researched and accessible… Her writing is clear yet nuanced, and offers compassion, a broad respect for history, and the skills of a strong storyteller.’

– CHOICE Magazine

‘Bartlett makes it abundantly clear that research to reduce the impact of infectious disease is progressing but that politics, budgetary constraints, competing priorities, and ego clashes are serious impediments.’

– Kirkus

‘Anyone interested in public health and its interface with politics will find both hope and frustration here…a fascinating look at epidemiology and the challenges that public health workers face.’

– Library Journal

‘This book is so engaging that I read it in one sitting…I recommend it in the highest possible terms.’

– W. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity, Columbia University

‘…describes the heroic efforts, the thrill of success, the challenges and the tragedy of failure…[it] kept me turning the pages until late in the night.’

– Nicholas Grassly, professor in Vaccine Epidemiology, Imperial College London


– Publishers Weekly

‘A deft combination of history and palatable scientific reportage.’

– Geographical

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images