In this panoramic and up-to-date account, we learn how the Black Death, smallpox, the Spanish flu and other great epidemics have led to enormous suffering and mass death, as well as contributing to the fall of empires and changing the course of history. We also discover how new infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 emerge.
Man has struck back at microbes – antibiotics and vaccines have saved millions of lives – but the battle with these relentless, silent enemies is far from won. We face increasing threats from new and unavoidable pandemics, antibiotic resistance and extra-terrestrial microbes. Duel Without End is a fascinating journey through the long history of infection, from the dawn of life to humanity's future exploration of deep space.
Originally published in 2020 in Norwegian as Kampen Mellom Mennesket og Mikrobene by Dreyers Forlag.
Stig S. Frøland is Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of Oslo. He is a specialist in infectious diseases and immunology and the author of two books on HIV/AIDS.
"A sweeping account of an important subject [...] Despite the depressing subject matter, this is a fascinating book of history and medical history, one that explores the social, economic and even sexual context of the human race and its fight against disease."
– The Independent
"A masterpiece on man's battle with microbes [...] Every page gives a wealth of new information on the history of man from the perspective of infectious diseases. If you only buy a single book this year, buy this one. It will change your view on world history for ever."
– Elin Ørjasæter, Nettavisen
"An excellent book on the large pandemics through history [...] demonstrates in a brilliant way how modern biomedical research has contributed to the battle against microbes."
– Nils Chr. Stenseth, Professor of Ecology and Evolution, University of Oslo, and Albert Einstein Professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences
"An exciting, interesting and thorough survey of the battle with microbes throughout our entire history [...] [written in] elegant and accessible language which is comprehensible to everyone [...] a magnificent work."
– Håkon Sjursen, Professor of Infectious Diseases, University of Bergen, Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association
"Frøland takes us on a fascinating journey through hundreds of thousands of years, from the dawn of humanity to the exploration of space. The book contains a wealth of interesting information and historical descriptions which makes it both easy to read and thrilling. It is difficult to put it down."
– Bård Hauge, Dagen