Mary Augusta Brazelton, Mass Vaccination: Citizens’ Bodies and State Power in Modern China
Mary Augusta Brazelton, Mass Vaccination: Citizens’ Bodies and State Power in Modern China. Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 2019, 258 pp., isbn 978 1 50173 998 9 (hardcover).
In her exemplary study, Mass Vaccination: Citizens’ Bodies and State Power in Modern China, Mary Augusta Brazelton offers a crucial addition to the growing number of books on the history of biopolitics in China. Mass Vaccination is also a notable addition to the growing body of work examining the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), while also crossing the 1949-divide into the early People’s Republic. Brazelton demonstrates how crucial wartime developments were to the ability of the Chinese state to intervene in the health of individuals. The book takes the southwest region centered in Yunnan as a case study, but clearly shows that wartime Kunming under regular Japanese bombing campaigns was the pivot point between a largely impotent pre-war Chinese Ministry of Health and a Chinese state that, under Nationalist and then Communist control, was able to bring the benefits of mass vaccination to the people under their control. Chapters one through five focus on the wartime period, while chapter six examines vaccination in the first decade of the People’s Republic (1949–1958), and the final chapter widens the focus to China’s export of mass immunization from the 1960s to 1980.
Luesink, D. (2022). [Review of the book Mass vaccination: Citizens’ bodies and state power in Modern China, by M.A. Brazelton]. East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine, 54(1), 152-154. Doi:10.1163/26669323-20220005