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Academic & Professional Books  Reference  Physical Sciences  Popular Science

Rats, Lice and History The Classic Account of Infectious Disease and Human History

Popular Science
By: Hans Zinsser(Author)
303 pages, no illustrations
Rats, Lice and History
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  • Rats, Lice and History ISBN: 9781911440895 Paperback Aug 2017 Usually dispatched within 6 days
  • Rats, Lice and History ISBN: 9780141390307 Paperback Sep 2000 Out of Print #149897
  • Rats, Lice and History ISBN: 9780316988964 Paperback Dec 1963 Out of Print #98856
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About this book

Both shocking and entertaining, this masterpiece of popular science writing, originally published in 1963, tells the tragic story of the struggle between humanity and its humble but deadly enemies, the organisms of disease. Zinsser shows how infectious disease simply represented an attempt of a living organism to survive. While from the human perspective an invading pathogen was abnormal, from the perspective of the pathogen it was perfectly normal. From the pestilence which contributed to the downfall of Rome to the dancing manias of medieval Europe, the aristocracy's fashion for wearing wigs and the role of typhus in the First World War, Zinsser reveals just how disease and epidemics have shaped human history.

Customer Reviews


Hans Zinsser taught bacteriology and immunology at the universities of Stanford and Columbia before going on to teach at the Harvard University Medical School. As well as researching extensively into cholera, allergies and rheumatic fever, he was a pioneer in isolating the micro-organism that causes a form of typhus. To Zinsser, scientific research was high adventure and the investigation of infectious disease, a field of battle. He died in 1940.

Popular Science
By: Hans Zinsser(Author)
303 pages, no illustrations
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