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Disease: The Extraordinary Stories Behind History's Deadliest Killers Hardcover – February 28, 2008


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Hardcover, February 28, 2008
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus Books (February 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847240143
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847240149
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
I just recently bought this book.
Samantha Tracy
The production is excellent- heavy paper, lovely layout, historical quotes in large lettering scattered on most pages.
kenn
This is a very interesting book, well written, well illustrated and of general interest.
Peter J.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amanda on June 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am a Microbiology major at my University, and in my senior year learned about all 30 of the diseases covered in this book. When I picked it up, I expected many of the scientific details to be glossed over, but was amazed at how much detail was in each chapter, detail that I was tested over in my classes! This book was extremely straight forward, interesting and easy to read. I bought it as a gift for my father upon my graduation because he always seemed so fascinated by my coursework in Microbiology. I haven't yet given it to him, but I know he is going to love it! This book is so well done and so informative for anyone curious about the many amazing and horrific diseases that have affected humans and animals.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Wise Reader on December 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If your children are ready to graduate from Horrible Histories and DK Eyewitness books, or if you are an adult wanting an enjoyable lay persons explanation of disease, this might be the place to start. My 12 year old daughter came home from school very inspired by her science class in which they were studying disease and I bought her this book. She has barely put it down and can't wait to take it to school when winter break is over to show her teacher.
There are four subsections: Bacterial Diseases (plague, leprosy, syphilis, typhus, cholera, typhoid, tuberculosis, puerperal fever, enephalitis), Parasitic Diseases(malaria, african trypnosomiasis, chagas' disease, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, hookworm, onchocerciasis), Viral Diseases (smallpox, measles, yellow fever, dengue fever, rabies, polio, influenza, ebola, AIDs, SARS), and Lifestyle Diseases(scurvy, kuru&CJD, cancer, heart disease).
Each disease is represented by approximately 2-4 two page spreads with timelines, excerpts from journal and other literature, illustrations, maps and explatations. The Plague for example begins by discussing how it is transmitted, discussion of the fictional novel "LaPeste" by Albert Camus, and smaller subsections such as: 'Dead rats and modern Imagination', 'The First Great Plague', 'The Origins of the Black Death', 'The Sorrow and the Pity', 'Rotting Corpses and Silent Bells'.
The book describes treatments, how people thought the disease was spread and the causes vs. what the modern realities are. A small but significant warning for some families: this is for kids who are ready for more mature content. For instance, the section on cancer shows an 'older type' drawing in which a woman's cancerous breast is being cut off with a big shears.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Samantha Tracy on December 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I just recently bought this book. I've read many books on diseases and infections, and this was definitely not just another repeat. It has an informative and easy-to-read background on the discovery and documented history of the aforementioned. It is the first book like this that I have acquired that has beautiful glossy pages, artwork/photos, and easy-to-read print. I'd venture to say it's readable by 11 y/o plus. I paid an amazing $13; definitely going on my coffee table when I'm through reading it. ;)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter J. TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that discuses 30 diseases in a general manner. It is written for a general audience and is suitable for students (high school and above) and those interested in a general treatment of the subject. The diseases are divided into four general categories: bacterial diseases, parasitic diseases, viral diseases and lifestyle diseases (which include vitamin deficiency diseases, prion diseases, cancer and heart disease). Each chapter is devoted to a primary disease, although some also cover similar diseases - for instance, the chapter on Ebola also mentions other haemorrhagic fevers such as Marburg disease and Lassa fever. Each chapter starts with a timeline delineating when the disease was first identified or mentioned, historical impacts, prominent researchers and treatments. The text is augmented with numerous pictures and short inserts describing specific subjects, such as prominent suffers, treatments and stories of interest (such as that of Typhoid Mary).

This is not a medical text or a book describing what to do for specific conditions or current treatments. It is a book on the history of disease and its impact on people, society and historical events. This is a book written for a general audience, but it should also be of some interest to those with more of an interest in science and medicine. There are lots of interesting tidbits; for instance, did Darwin contract Chagas disease in his epic journey to South America? The fact that there are different kinds of Malaria is discussed, as is the difference between Small Pox inoculation and vaccination (terms which are often confused in history books.
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By Pat on July 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fascinating history, very well done.
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Format: Hardcover
Only part of the way through in my readings. It covers a broad range of topics. Very well written and very informative.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Somewhat simplistic, but a keeper for general transmission of a particular disease. The categories of disease are invaluable in general terms keeping mind the new area of Genomics.
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