Foreign Bodies

Pandemics, Vaccines and the Health of Nations

Simon Schama (author)



In “Foreign Bodies: Pandemics, Vaccines, and the Health of Nations,” Simon Schama explores the historical and societal implications of global health crises and the development of vaccines. With meticulous research, Schama uncovers the intricate relationship between pandemics and nations in this thought-provoking and timely examination.

In stock

Number of pages: 480

Published: 29 February 2024

SKU: 9781471169922 Categories: , , , Tags: , ,


“Foreign Bodies: Pandemics, Vaccines, and the Health of Nations” by Simon Schama is a thought-provoking and timely exploration of the intersection between global health crises, the development of vaccines, and their profound impact on societies throughout history. Renowned historian and cultural commentator Simon Schama offers a comprehensive examination of the complex relationship between pandemics, vaccinations, and the ever-evolving health landscape of nations.

In this meticulously researched and eloquently written book, Schama delves into the historical, political, and social dimensions of pandemics and their consequences, weaving together compelling narratives from different periods and geographical locations. From the devastating plagues of the ancient world to the more recent outbreaks that have shaped our contemporary world, Schama offers a sweeping panorama of infectious diseases and the responses they have elicited from diverse societies.

“Foreign Bodies” delves into the fascinating stories behind the development of vaccines, from Edward Jenner’s revolutionary smallpox vaccine to the race for an effective COVID-19 vaccine. Schama examines the scientific breakthroughs, ethical dilemmas, and political battles that have accompanied the introduction of these life-saving interventions, emphasizing their crucial role in safeguarding public health and transforming the trajectory of nations.

Drawing on his expertise as a historian, Schama sheds light on the broader social implications of pandemics and vaccines. He examines the impact on communities, economies, and political systems, revealing how outbreaks have tested the resilience of nations and influenced their cultural and political landscapes. By exploring the experiences of different countries, Schama highlights the intertwined nature of global health challenges and the shared responsibility that nations have in confronting them.

Through vivid storytelling and incisive analysis, Schama engages readers with the profound questions raised by pandemics and vaccines: How have these crises shaped our understanding of human vulnerability? How do they reveal the strengths and weaknesses of societies? And what lessons can we learn from the past to navigate the challenges of the present and future?

“Foreign Bodies: Pandemics, Vaccines, and the Health of Nations” is a compelling and insightful work that will appeal to readers interested in history, public health, and the intricate dynamics between society, medicine, and global crises. With its compelling narratives, rigorous research, and thoughtful reflections, this book serves as a valuable resource for understanding the profound impact of pandemics on the health and well-being of nations.

Additional information

Dimensions 19.8 × 13 × 3.3 cm