Zachary Dorner, "Merchants of Medicine: The Commerce and Coercion of Health in Britain’s Long 18th Century" (U Chicago Press, 2020)


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In Merchants of Medicine: The Commerce and Coercion of Health in Britain’s Long Eighteenth Century (The University of Chicago Press), medicines embody the hopes of those who prepared, sold, and ingested them.

By investigating the different contexts and practices associated with the British long-distance trade in patent medicines, Zachary Dorner unravels the intertwined history of financial markets, health concerns, and colonial warfare. He argues that from the late seventeenth-century, medicines were produced, distributed, and consumed in new ways, providing solutions to the problems of labor shortages in the armed forces, trading companies and plantations, while also informing the categories of difference that organized such institutions.

Zachary Dorner is the Patrick Henry Postdoctoral Fellow in history at Johns Hopkins University.

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