The volume discusses the social and cultural history of public health and its influence on state and nation building in East and Southeast Europe, which evolved with the 19th century and stretched throughout the 20th century, including the Cold War period. The national case studies include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czechoslovakia, the GDR, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia, making an original contribution to the debate on the intertwined relationship between health, medicine and state and nation building. The authors challenge the idea of different paths to modernity and late modernity of Europe’s western (liberal) and eastern (communist) countries, arguing that—through the perspective of public health—the history of the region stands emblematic for the European history from the late 19th century onwards. The studies explore close links between an evolving professionalizing elite and its understanding and use of scientificprofessional knowledge on the one hand, and the modern state on the other, which in a very ambivalent way makes use of medical knowledge as a political tool for its own advancement. Close reading and dense description of the case studies on public health will contribute to a better understanding of the genuinely European patterns of public health in the state and nation building era of the last two centuries.