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The Making of a Tropical Disease: A Short History of Malaria (Johns Hopkins Biographies of Disease) 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-1421403960
ISBN-10: 142140396X
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The Making of a Tropical Disease: A Short History of Malaria (Johns Hopkins Biographies of Disease) + Inescapable Ecologies: A History of Environment, Disease, and Knowledge + Silent Victories: The History and Practice of Public Health in Twentieth-Century America
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Editorial Reviews

Review

What Randall M. Packard does masterfully in his book on malaria is to integrate the biological complexity of the disease into its historical, social and economic context, even if he stops short of drawing all the obvious conclusions from the data he so ably presents.

(G. Dunkel Workers World)

Useful in collections that support tropical medicine, public health, and the history of medicine.

(Choice)

A fine book... This short book carries through its thoughtful approach with admirable power and consistency.

(Bill Bynum Lancet)

This is an excellent and well-balanced book that will be of interest to a wide audience.

(Brian Greenwood Nature Medicine)

This is an interesting read―a short, well-written, and exceptionally well-documented history and commentary on the possible control―and, hopefully, eradication―of one of the world's major diseases.

(Markley H. Boyer, MD, DPhil, MPH JAMA)

This is a remarkable book that will be of great interest to any historian working on the history of disease and to those historians who deal with the difficult question of how to write sound and clear general histories.

(Marcos Cueto Bulletin of the History of Medicine)

Packard's is a terrific book that will guide the next generation of medical and environmental historians as global challenges to health persist and expand in the wake of unintended environmental change.

(James C. McCann International Journal of African Historical Studies)

The Making of a Tropical Disease is a vigorously argued and accessibly narrated ecological history of malaria, a contribution as much to social medicine and studies in the political economy of disease as to medical history.

(Warwick Anderson Isis)

What gives a special energy to this volume is his conviction that the history of malaria is embedded in the history of development and that the lessons of this history must be applied to contemporary development policies.

(Marcia Wright Journal of Global History)

Packard’s lightness of touch allows his book to be both enjoyable and compelling, despite the frustration and heartbreak in his story.

(Anne Hardy Journal of Interdisciplinary History)

An excellent and well-balanced book that will be of interest to a wide audience. It should be required reading for all those contemplating a second malaria eradication campaign.

(Brian Greenwood Nature Medicine)

The author can be congratulated for having tackled such a complex and difficult topic. His research and depth of knowledge on the topic as a historian are just amazing. He has also provided excellent references for further studies.

(Walter Kipp Canadian Studies in Population)

Authoritative, fascinating, and eye-opening.

(Book Bargains and Previews)

From the Back Cover

2008 Book of the Year, End Malaria Awards, Malaria Foundation International

Malaria sickens hundreds of millions of people―and kills one to three million―each year. Despite massive efforts to eradicate the disease, it remains a major public health problem in poorer tropical regions. But malaria has not always been concentrated in tropical areas. How did other regions control malaria, and why does the disease still flourish in parts of the globe.

This acclaimed history of malaria traces the natural and social forces that help the disease spread and make it deadly.

"This is an interesting read―a short, well-written, and exceptionally well-documented history and commentary on the possible control―and, hopefully, eradication―of one of the world's major diseases."― JAMA

"A vigorously argued and accessibly narrated ecological history of malaria, a contribution as much to social medicine and studies in the political economy of disease as to medical history."― Isis

"This is a remarkable book that will be of great interest to any historian working on the history of disease and to those historians who deal with the difficult question of how to write sound and clear general histories."― Bulletin of the History of Medicine

"An excellent and well-balanced book that will be of interest to a wide audience. It should be required reading for all those contemplating a second malaria eradication campaign."― Nature Medicine

See all Editorial Reviews
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Product Details

  • Series: Johns Hopkins Biographies of Disease
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; 1 edition (September 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142140396X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421403960
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Patrick O VINE VOICE on February 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Once upon a time there was a mosquito. And this mosquito carried something with her and gave it to everyone she met. Men in peculiar outfits sprayed all over the land, and the mosquito was banished, in that land at least.

This is the story of malaria. The story that I've heard.

But the actual story of Malaria is a lot more complex. Who would have, for instance, expected a history on a supposed tropical disease to begin with a study of a city in Northern Russia? The Making of a Tropical Disease does just that.

Honestly, this isn't always a fun book to read. Some books are very good about inspiration and motivation and glide along in presenting the chosen perspective. This isn't about inspiration or motivation. It is more ambitious. There are times in which it slows down and gets into details and spends a long time one what might seem a minor point. But, this negative isn't really a criticism. These seemingly minor points are in fact important, and it is the tendency to gloss over such points that undermine so many attempts to respond.

This certainly is a well written book. Randall Packard is a very good writer, and even with my above comment I must add he does a wonderful job of making personal connection. In his journey through the history of where malaria spread he does not only relate facts and figures. He tells a story, and in telling that story has written a very, very solid history.

But more than a history The Making of a Tropical Disease is also really a book on global policy. Packard does not hide this fact. He is making the point that malaria is not simply a story about random mosquitoes who live in unfortunate places.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By G. Ware Cornell Jr. VINE VOICE on February 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Following the death of Pope Gregory XV in 1623 from what we now know as malaria, the College of Cardinals convened to elect a new pope. Six of their numbers and forty attendants succumbed to the same illness, which was attributed to "bad air" (mala aria in medieval Italian).

Malaria is a parasitic disease, spread by anopheles mosquitoes. Malaria is a tropical disease, but outbreaks can occur almost anywhere in the world. Successful parasites do not kill their hosts, which is why malaria has a relatively low mortality rate. Malaria still manages to kill one to three million humans each year, with a total infection rate of 400 to 800 million. Most of those infected suffer from recurrent fevers and chills, with the disease striking down the elderly, newborn and others with weak or compromised immune systems.

This history of malaria should serve as a cautionary tale for most of us. Malarial outbreaks can be controlled by never eliminated. When public health systems break down malaria may follow. Outbreaks in Archangel during the Russian Revolution and Civil War, and in contemporary Palm Beach County offer testimony to the opportunistic nature of this infection.

This account is sobering and informative.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Erika Borsos VINE VOICE on February 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Dr. Randall M. Packard (Ph.D. not M.D.) did a vast amount of research to provide the reader with a daunting scenario - that malaria is a disease on the rise within the world and worse than that it has returned with a vengeance! The author writes an authoritative and masterful book capturing a great deal of information although he modeslty adds "a short history of malaria" on the title page of his book. The fact is, malaria is a *global* disease which although confined *mostly* to the tropics, has also developed elsewhere in northern climates when the conditions are right. The author captures the reader's attention from the first chapter by providing three global narratives which illustrate the complex factors involved in why malaria persists as a worldwide menacing disease. The first example illustrates how changing agricultural and economic factors in Archangel, a northern port city of Russia, about 125 miles from the Arctic Circle, in the 1920s, created the conditions for an unlikely tropical disease to strike a population not considered at risk. Due to the Russian Revolution, farming techniques changed with a vast decrease in production. There were meager food reserves and live stock was scarce. The Bolsheviks confiscated produce or destroyed much of the previous harvest and animals. Factories closed, shipping was halted and famine arose. First there was a drought followed by a flood. The conditions were ripe for the local species of anopheles mosquito to breed. A Western blockade of shipping prevented the poverty stricken starving people from obtaining quinine, the only medicine known to be effective against malaria. A local epidemic arose which was part of a larger regional epidimic hitting Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Volga Regions.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mary E. Sibley VINE VOICE on February 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Disease is social, linguistic, and biological. Modern disease is bureaucratic. Malaria has a long history. It is caused by a parasite, transmitted through the bite of a mosquito.

This is an excellent summary of malaria control efforts. Theories of the cause of the prevalence of the condition are presented. Malaria has arisen where the distribution and flow of water has changed.

There are four kinds of human malaria. Pope Gregory XV died of malaria. The spread of malaria to Europe and America was tied to hcanging agricultural practices. Malaria parasites traveled to America by ship.

In the eighteenth century malaria in South Carolina was a significant health problem. Changes in rice production may have caused a decline in malaria mortality by the last quarter of the eighteenth century. Subsequently malaria spread to the Ohio River Valley, the Illinois River Valley, and the Mississippi River Valley.

After 1850 there was retreat of the disease in Europe and America. Commercial farming and better drainage produced change. Quinine treatment alleviated distress. By the first half of the twentieth century malaria had become a tropical disease.

Human populations are subject to economic and social conditions creating opportunities to control malaria epidemics. Use of avoidance and medications reduce the impact of malaria. Public health practices aim at improving environments. Vector control programs of the early twentieth century sought to eliminate breeding sites.

Midcentury, broad-based efforts at malaria control were abandoned as DDT came into use. Eradication efforts ran into the fact of pesticide resistance. Another development was antimalarial drug resistance. In 1969 the WHO eradication campaign was terminated.
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