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Man and Microbes: Disease and Plagues in History and Modern Times

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Arno Karlen

Whereas many popular books on microbes focus on contemporary pathogens and emerging epidemics, Arno Karlen'sMan and Microbesprovides a historical look at the coevolution of humans and microorganisms. Karlen speculates that infections are integral to … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Arno Karlen
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
1 review about Man and Microbes: Disease and Plagues in...

Fascinating history of human pandemics

  • Oct 11, 2010
Rating:
+5
This is an excellent short history of viruses and infectious diseases that attack humans. Author Arno Karlen writes lucidly and with an economy that makes this book an easy and pleasurable read for lay people who are "serious readers." A highlight is the attention that Karlen pays to the process through which humans and microbes have co-evolved since ancient times. He takes care to frame the issues in the broad context of evolution and the pressures that human behavior change and technology have placed on microbes' natural selection, rather than viewing disease as a black-and-white battle between "us" and "them."

Also of note is the excellent bibliography. Karlen separates the bib into those works that are "core" to the subject and those that are supplemental reading, and he annotates the core selections to differentiate those that are primarily for scholars and those that are useful for the general reader.

I found this book very interesting and helpful to my overall understanding of a fascinating subject.
Fascinating history of human pandemics

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