324 pages, illustrations
In this remarkable account, evolutionary biologist Christopher Wills takes us on a voyage of discovery through the exotic pasts of the viruses and bacteria that periodically emerge with such disastrous results for our species. It is our knowledge of their secret lives, the eons spent quietly passing in and out of myriad other life forms, mutating and coadapting, that gives us hope of taming them. By putting these organisms – from bubonic plague to Ebola – at center-stage, Wills shows how we will eventually master them.
"Readers who enjoy being escorted through jungles and slums guided by a master scientist will take pleasure from this panorama of the great diseases that have plagued mankind [...] Wills provides a sure guide to the medical problems and promises of the end of the second millenium, and enlarges our grasp of the evolution of disease"
– Roy Porter, The Times
The Anatomy Of Plagues * The Delicate Balance Between Life and Death * The Penumbra of Disease * The Worst of Times Chief Monster That Has Plagued The Nations Yet * Four Tales from the New Decameron * Was the Indian Plague Actually Plague, and if Not Why Not? Nave And Cunning Diseases * Cholera, the Black One * A Cleverer Pathogen The Challenge Of The Temperate Zones * An Ague Very Violent * Syphilis and the Faustian Bargain Plagues, Populations And The Biosphere * AIDS and the Future of Plagues * Safety in Diversity * Why So Many Diseases?
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