America & Pandemics Past: Hertog Conversations with Richard Brookhiser

Richard Brookhiser

Hertog Foundation | 2020

In this conversation, noted historian Richard Brookhiser discusses two early American public health crises. The first—a smallpox outbreak—nearly derailed the Revolutionary War, leading General George Washington to begin a program of mass military inoculation. The second—the Yellow Fever epidemic of the 1790s—emptied out the city of Philadelphia, then the nation’s Capitol, killing 10 percent of the city’s population. In discussing this history, we will consider the relationship of politics and science, and the challenges of presidential crisis management.

This conversation was recorded via Zoom on June 30, 2020, and was moderated by Darren Staloff (City College of New York). This conversation was part of the 2020 Political Studies Program.

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