Videos and web resources for Section 1, Milestones in Global Health.

Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge

This six-part video series includes extensive footage and commentary on many of the milestones in this book, including John Snow’s famous experiments; the development of ORS; and the eradication of smallpox. Many other parts of this video fit nicely with other sections of this book. For example, the episode “Back to the Basics” covers the determinants of health. (6 hours, but does not need to be viewed in its entirety)


100 Objects that Shaped Global Health – Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

This website presents 100 objects, from the bifurcated needle to the birth certificate, that have shaped public health.




Demon in the Freezer – Errol Morris

In this New York Times “Op-doc,” renowned documentary filmmaker Errol Morris interviews D. A. Henderson and others involved in smallpox eradication about the decision not to destroy stocks of smallpox in labs in the United States and USSR post-eradication. (18 minutes)


Learning from Smallpox: How to Eradicate a Disease – Julie Garon and Walter A. Orenstein

A TED-Ed video briefly describing how smallpox was eradicated, what is necessary for eradication, and where we’re headed with eradication efforts for the future. This pro-eradication viewpoint can be compared with other, more critical perspectives in this book. (5 minutes)




How to Survive a Plague (2012)

This searing and fascinating documentary follows the history of ACT UP during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the United States. It is well worth watching, especially for those students who may not be aware of the history of LGBTQ activism in the United States.


Fire in the Blood (2013)

This documentary explores the global movement for access to affordable anti-retroviral therapy.


1918 FLU

There are dozens of excellent documentaries on the Internet featuring interviews with survivors and many vintage photographs. Here are a few resources:


1918 and Bird Flu – Nova Science Now

A brief, entertaining introduction to the 1918 flu epidemic that makes connections to current concerns with bird flu. (13 min)


Influenza Archive – University of Michigan

This website features documents and photographs from the 1918 flu epidemic in a number of American cities.


1918 Flu Pandemic Song

This light-hearted entertaining song emphasizes the connection between WWI and the influenza epidemic. (2 min)


The 1918 Influenza Pandemic in America: the Struggle Against the Spanish Flu

This documentary is a bit older, but it has a collection of very interesting interviews with survivors of the 1918 flu. (56 min)




Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2015)

Excellent activist (and entertaining) review of Big Tobacco’s pressure on low- and middle-income countries of their expanding market.


Thank You for Smoking (2005)

Satirical comedy about Big Tobacco’s chief representative and lobbyist obfuscating the truth. While this movie is fictional, it reflects the truth that much of the tobacco industry’s work is about advertising (a great topic for student research papers).

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