This timely book by Cambridge historian Mary Augusta Brazelton is about infectious disease control in twentieth-century China. Given our current COVID-19 crisis, this topic will no doubt attract a large audience interested in the history of medicine, but specialists in Asian studies will also find many important reasons to read it. As clearly signaled by its simple title, this book is about injecting large groups of people with vaccines, but it is also about much, much more: multiple imperialisms, ethnic borderlands, the impact of World War II, the relationship between region and nation, scientific innovation in non-Western countries. Most importantly, Mass Vaccination illuminates the century-long creation of a Chinese body politic by focusing on how the relationship between individuals and the state coalesced around the point of a needle.

In its lean yet robustly argued introduction, the book reminds us that China has played a crucial role in humanity's global...

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