Kim Pelis has written a magesterial biography of Charles Nicolle, the Nobel prize-winning microbiologist who demonstrated the louse-borne transmission of one of humankind's most dreaded scourges: typhus fever. But this beautifully written book covers so much more than Nicolle's exemplary scientific life. Indeed, it is a superb and scholarly exploration of late nineteenth and early twentieth century medicine, colonialism, international public health, and the social and cultural history of disease. --Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., George E. Wantz Professor of the History of Medicine, University of Michigan, author of When Germs Travel Charles Nicolle was one of the most complex and creative of Pasteur's disciples. His combination as scientist, clinician, administrator, novelist, philosopher, and tortured individual makes him a fascinating man. Kim Pelis has done justice to all facets of Nicolle's life and work. This is a gem of a book. --W. F. Bynum, M.D, Ph.D, FRCP, Professor Emeritus of History of Medicine, University College London There was no shortage of competition in the hunt for the cause of typhus, and Nicolle's claim to have discovered the louse as the agent of transmission did not go uncontested. Few important discoveries do. Taking us through the socio-scientific history of typhus, Pelis adroitly details how Nicolle and his close collaborator, Ernest Conseil (director of public health in Tunis), arrived at their discovery. H-FRANCE, January 2007
Now working full time for the NIH as a researcher/historian, 7/07. Kim Pelis is visiting assistant professor of history at the University of Notre Dame.