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The Rinderpest Campaigns
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Book description

Amanda Kay McVety has written the first history of the international effort to eradicate rinderpest - a devastating cattle disease - which began in the 1940s and ended in 2011. Rinderpest is the only other disease besides smallpox to have been eradicated, but very few people in the United States know about it, because it did not infect humans and never broke out in North America. In other parts of the world, however, rinderpest was a serious economic and social burden and the struggle against it was a critical part of the effort to fight poverty and hunger globally. McVety follows the deployment of rinderpest vaccines around the globe, exploring the role of the environment in the understanding of development, internationalism, and national security. She expands the standard Cold War narratives to show how these concepts were framed not only by economic and political concerns, but also by biological ones.


'In her innovative, engaging, and deeply-researched book, Amanda Kay McVety brilliantly recounts the history of Rinderpest and the international struggle to contain it. Putting biology and the environment at the center of postwar history, her book makes a valuable contribution to the study of twentieth-century internationalism(s) and global development.'

Julia F. Irwin - University of South Florida, author of Making the World Safe: The American Red Cross and a Nation’s Humanitarian Awakening

'A compelling, surprising, and elegantly written account of the disease that drew the world together. You’ll never feel safe around cows again.'

Daniel Immerwahr - Northwestern University, Illinois,author of Thinking Small: The United States and the Lure of Community Development

'The book incorporates a broad array of primary sources, including archives from multiple countries and interviews with family and colleagues of scientific protagonists … compellingly written …'

Susan D. Jones Source: The Journal of American History

'McVety has a lively style, and her evident enthusiasm for 'the idea of an international community united by shared hopes and fears' is engaging …’

John Landers Source: American Historical Review

'The main strength of the book is the way in which McVety integrates the history of vaccine research with a broader and perceptive critique of the role of non-human actors in this story. In particular, the book provides a valuable insight into the interrelated issues of the development of scientific internationalism and national security …'

John Martin Source: Agricultural History Review

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