Epidemics and the Law from Smallpox to COVID-19
John Fabian Witt
Discover the fascinating legal history of epidemics in America, from smallpox in the colonies to COVID-19. In this concise read, author John Fabian Witt delves into the ways in which infectious diseases have both shaped and been shaped by American law. Witt argues that legal responses to public health have been uneven over time, with some communities benefiting from more liberal policies while others have faced authoritarian measures. Explore how the major questions raised by past epidemics continue to impact us today, including the balance between individual liberty and the common good, the role of the federal government, and the fight against inequities.