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A Time to Dance, a Time to Die The Extraordinary Story of the Dancing Plague of 1518 Hardcover – 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 267 pages
  • Publisher: Icon Books; 1St Edition edition (2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848310218
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848310216
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,216,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By G. Poirier on November 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is the fascinating account of the so-called dancing plague of 1518 Strasbourg. Although this type of plague does not appear to be as well-known as other remarkable events that have occurred in history, its 1518 occurrence was not the first and not quite the last. The author does an excellent job of setting the scene for this event on the political, cultural and especially religious fronts. The dancing plague itself is then described in great detail as are the attempts at curing the many who were so tragically afflicted. Since the ultimate cure may seem rather astonishing to the modern reader, the author finally compares this plague with other more or less equivalent events in the modern world. Consequently, the last chapter makes for fascinating reading on the nature of the human mind. The writing style is elegant and authoritative, scholarly but accessible and most engaging. This book can be enjoyed by anyone, but those with a penchant for medieval history and for psychology will be in for a special treat.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a truly remarkable true story. John Waller's amazing in-depth research explores, exposes & seeks to explain one of the most remarkable, strange and unexplainable events in recoded history. A well written, interesting telling of this bizarre event. I'm intrigued by weird true events & this book delivers - I thoroughly enjoyed it!
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Randall L. Wilson on November 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"A Time to Dance a Time to Die" sounds better than it reads. Its the story of crazed dancing in 16th century Strasbourg involving several hundred people who are unable to stop except from exhaustion. Mr. Waller attempts to find the source of illness. He see the origins in the brutal conditions, the hunger and poverty of the citizens of Strasbourg, accentuated by the religiousity of those times.

But really what is so significant about a few hundred people going a bit nuts five hundred years ago? Supposedly there were deaths but probably not even twenty and its not completely clear that the cause was the dancing. The books title promises something more ghastly, a society gone haywire when in fact it was probably less then one percent of the population of the city involved. And given the paucity of sources about these events, it gives the book a hazy, unreal quality. Waller tries to be historically accurate and yet there is a feeling of thinness, of question marks around the most basic facts of the story.

Frankly, I think this book could have been a forty page essay.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Felipe Stocco on May 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hi! My name is Felipe. I am Brazilian and I got this book: "A time to dance, a time to die" by Amazon.com and it arrived at the requested address before the expected time in perfect condition. I appreciate the speed and quality of care. Thank you! until next time!

Felipe Stocco
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