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American Contagions: Epidemics and the Law from Smallpox to Covid-19

American Contagions: Epidemics and the Law from Smallpox to Covid-19 - John Fabian Witt

American Contagions: Epidemics and the Law from Smallpox to Covid-19


A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion

"Contrarians and the civic-minded alike will find Witt's legal survey a fascinating resource"--Kirkus, starred review

"Professor Witt's book is an original and thoughtful contribution to the interdisciplinary study of disease and American law. Although he covers the broad sweep of the American experience of epidemics from yellow fever to COVID-19, he is especially timely in his exploration of the legal background to the current disaster of the American response to the coronavirus. A thought-provoking, readable, and important work."--Frank Snowden, author of Epidemics and Society

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
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A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion

"Contrarians and the civic-minded alike will find Witt's legal survey a fascinating resource"--Kirkus, starred review

"Professor Witt's book is an original and thoughtful contribution to the interdisciplinary study of disease and American law. Although he covers the broad sweep of the American experience of epidemics from yellow fever to COVID-19, he is especially timely in his exploration of the legal background to the current disaster of the American response to the coronavirus. A thought-provoking, readable, and important work."--Frank Snowden, author of Epidemics and Society

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
The legal history of epidemics shows that, throughout American history, public health laws have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others. Epidemics prompt us to make choices about our basic values and our laws, and history helps shape our answers to those questions today.
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion​

A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
A concise history of how American law has shaped--and been shaped by--the experience of contagion, "taking us from the smallpox outbreaks of the colonies to COVID-19. . . . The conclusion Witt] arrives at is devastating." (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

"One wishes that, six months ago, every member of Congress and the Trump administration had been forced to read and reckon with the history Witt neatly summarizes. But now in the aftermath of a close, bitterly fought election, let's hope that this book will help America chart its way forward."--Jill Filipovic, Washington Post

From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
From yellow fever to smallpox to polio to AIDS to COVID-19, epidemics have prompted Americans to make choices and answer questions about their basic values and their laws. In five concise chapters, historian John Fabian Witt traces the legal history of epidemics, showing how infectious disease has both shaped, and been shaped by, the law. Arguing that throughout American history legal approaches to public health have been liberal for some communities and authoritarian for others, Witt shows us how history's answers to the major questions brought up by previous epidemics help shape our answers today: What is the relationship between individual liberty and the common good? What is the role of the federal government, and what is the role of the states? Will long-standing traditions of government and law give way to the social imperatives of an epidemic? Will we let the inequities of our mixed tradition continue?
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