Books  General Natural History  Environmental History 

Historical Ecology of Malaria in Ethiopia: Deposing the Spirits

Series: Series in Ecology & History

By: James C McCann (Author)

Ohio University Press

Paperback | Jul 2015 | #222004 | ISBN-13: 9780821421475
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £19.99 $24/€22 approx
Hardback | Jul 2015 | #222003 | ISBN-13: 9780821421468
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £51.99 $63/€58 approx

About this book

Malaria is an infectious disease like no other: it is a dynamic force of nature and Africa's most deadly and debilitating malady. James C. McCann tells the story of malaria in human, narrative terms and explains the history and ecology of the disease through the science of landscape change. All malaria is local. Instead of examining the disease at global or continental scale, McCann investigates malaria's adaptation and persistence in a single region, Ethiopia, over time and at several contrasting sites.

Malaria has evolved along with humankind and has adapted to even modern-day technological efforts to eradicate it or to control its movement. Insecticides, such as DDT, drug prophylaxis, development of experimental vaccines, and even molecular-level genetic manipulation have proven to be only temporary fixes. The failure of each stand-alone solution suggests the necessity of a comprehensive ecological understanding of malaria, its transmission, and its persistence, one that accepts its complexity and its local dynamism as fundamental features. The story of this disease in Ethiopia includes heroes, heroines, witches, spirits – and a very clever insect – as well as the efforts of scientists in entomology, agroecology, parasitology, and epidemiology. Ethiopia is an ideal case for studying the historical human culture of illness, the dynamism of nature's disease ecology, and its complexity within malaria.

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James C. McCann is professor of history and chair of the Department of Archaeology at Boston University. He is winner of a John S. Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2014 Distinguished Scholar of the American Society of Environmental History.

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