A new and vibrant cultural history, investigating the tangled and complex history of pandemics and vaccines, by bestselling author and historian Simon Schama. With the devastating effects of Covid-19 still rattling the foundations of our global civilization, we live in unprecedented times - or so we might think. But pandemics have been a constant presence throughout human history, as humans and disease live side by side. Over the centuries, our ability to react to these sweeping killers has evolved, most notably through the development of vaccines. The story of disease eradication, however, has never been one of simply science - it is political, cultural and deeply personal. Ranging across continents and centuries, Schama unpacks the stories of the often unknown individuals whose pioneering work changed the face of modern healthcare. Questioning why the occurrence of pandemics appears to be accelerating alarming, he looks into our impact on the natural world, and how that in turn is impacting us. And interrogates how geopolitics has had an often devastating effect on global health. Inspirational and tragic in turn, these are stories of success and failure, of collaboration and of persecution, as humanity struggles to work together in the face of one of our most deadly shared enemies: the pandemic.