Elizabeth's Reviews > The Pox and the Covenant: Mather, Franklin, and the Epidemic That Changed America's Destiny

The Pox and the Covenant by Tony Williams
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's review
Aug 20, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: sociology, non-fiction, history, 2010s
Read from August 20 to 22, 2011

Interesting and lively account of smallpox epidemic in Puritan Boston and debate among Mather, Franklin and various others on vaccination and the role of the church. Williams has no trouble bringing this period to life but his depiction of Cotton Mather as a man of science and reason taking on the superstitious peasantry is simply bizarre in light of Mather's role as unrepentant chief supporter and instigator of the Salem Witch Trials of the late 1600's -- which Williams completely and utterly glosses over. Sort of like discussing Dr. Mengele's brilliant medical career. An unforgivable lapse.

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