Recent and Upcoming Events

Currently accepting invitations for in-person and online book presentations and conversations!

  • January 11, New Jersey American Revolution Roundtable: Morristown, NJ

  • February 11, Fort Ticonderoga Author Series Program: Fort Ticonderoga, NY (Virtual)

  • March 23, Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize Gala, Colonial Society of Massachusetts: Boston, MA

  • April 13, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution: Midland, MI

More to come!

Recorded Events & Media

Podcasts, interviews, lectures and more

(Podcasts available by clicking the image or can be found wherever you get your podcasts)

The Daily Stoic

Ryan speaks with Andrew Wehrman about his new book The Contagion of Liberty: The Politics of Smallpox in the American Revolution, how and why responses to health emergencies in the past are strangely similar to those of today, how major historical events always coincide with medical events of the day, the wisdom that studying history can impart on us, and more.

This Podcast Will Kill You

Riots over inoculations. Large-scale quarantines and lockdowns. Criticisms of government action (or inaction) during disease outbreaks. The spread of mis- and disinformation about the safety of immunizations. You may be thinking, “this is a COVID episode, isn’t it?”. Not quite. In this latest installment of the TPWKY book club we’ll be discussing another key period in US history that had profound, long-lasting impacts on public health and access to medical care: the American Revolutionary War, when liberty from smallpox was even more important to the American colonists than independence from Great Britain. Our time travel tour guide is Dr. Andrew Wehrman, Associate Professor of History at Central Michigan University, who joins us to discuss his fascinating book The Contagion of Liberty: The Politics of Smallpox in the American Revolution, published in December 2022. 

America Trends Podcast

To hear a great historian of America’s early history come to the realization that America’s victory over the British in the Revolutionary War was second to its defeat of the scourge of smallpox at the time is pretty stunning.  Then he makes a compelling case that the virus had to be conquered in order to have the capacity to beat such an estimable force.

Revolution 250 Podcast

Smallpox--the most devastating disease in human history--struck the American colonies in 1773.  Andrew Wehrman  (Central Michigan University) joins us to talk about the political responses to the disease, in Marblehead and Salem, Massachusetts, and Norfolk, Virginia, and what Americans learned about the contagion and how to combat it, as he discusses in his new book, Contagion of Liberty: The Politics of Smallpox in the American Revolution.

Drafting the Past

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and, since our interview it was named a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in history. Our conversation gives an excellent look into the long process of writing this book, and I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed talking with Andrew.

The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast

The American Revolution happened in the midst of a smallpox epidemic. In one of the timeliest history books of the publishing season, historian  Andrew Wehrman visits the podcast to talk about what the patriots of the American Revolution and the founding fathers thought about public health.

The Curious Man’s Podcast

“At the height of The Revolutionary War a smallpox epidemic broke out and in response General Washington ordered the inoculation of the Continental Army. If not for that we may not exist as the nation we are. Wehrman takes us through this revolution within The Revolution and what those who wanted inoculation had to go through to get it, the socio-economic issues in providing it and how race and gender played a role. A fantastic new dimension to our independence that is eerily prescient now.”

The Jefferson Exchange

We go back to the original days of "Don't Tread On Me" with the author, for an exploration of public health politics at the dawn of the republic. The story is told by historian Andrew Wehrman in the book The Contagion of Liberty: The Politics of Smallpox in the American Revolution.

Unsung History

Joining me to help us learn more about smallpox inoculation during the American Revolution is Dr. Andrew M. Wehrman, Associate professor of history at Central Michigan University, and author of The Contagion of Liberty: The Politics of Smallpox in the American Revolution.

Mainely History podcast

Andrew Wehrman discusses how the revolutionary generation thought about the role of government in public health during a continent-wide smallpox pandemic.

Ben Franklin’s World podcast

I’m featured along with other historians in episodes 301 and 302: “From Inoculation to Vaccination”

The Infectious Historians podcast

Andrew Wehrman (Central Michigan University) discusses the role of smallpox and inoculations during the American Revolution.

Dr. Joseph Warren Historical Society

With historian and author Christian Di Spigna, I discuss the smallpox epidemic of 1764 in Boston.

C-SPAN 3: American History TV

“Smallpox Inoculation in 18th Century New England” In this lecture, which I gave at the Weymouth, Massachusetts, church where John and Abigail Adams were married exactly 250 years before, I described their respective inoculations for smallpox in 1764 and 1776.

NPR: Talk of the Nation

“Founding Fathers Faced Healthcare Revolt Too.” Just as I was beginning my dissertation and after I wrote my first academic article based on my research, I had the good fortune of being invited to talk about with Neal Conan on Talk of the Nation back in October 2009.


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