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January 16, 1978

Influenza in America 1918-1976: History, Science, and Politics

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago

JAMA. 1978;239(3):241-242. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280300073033

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In the realm of public health, the "swine flu" vaccination program will stand as a major event. The present slim volume helps illuminate the whole topic, including both the medical and political aspects. The book derived from a symposium of May 1977 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the History of Medicine. The papers read there form the basis of the present text, although by no means a literal transcript. Dr June Osborne, the editor, an expert virologist and a government advisor, has an insider's view and speaks with special personal insight. But while the symposium held great interest, the publication of a book at this time appears to me premature.

There are four chapters and a lengthy appendix. The first chapter provides a brief and superficial account of the 1918 pandemic and was intended as a background to the excitement of 1976. The second chapter offers