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Twelve Diseases That Changed Our World Paperback – August 31, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1555814663 ISBN-10: 1555814662 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: ASM Press; 1 edition (August 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555814662
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555814663
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Author: Irwin W. Sherman, The Scripps Research Institute, USA

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By DrPig39 on November 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
I ordered this book from the local distributor at a symposium on infectious diseases after I quickly skimmed through it. Superficially, it looked interesting and comprehensive. However, after reading it thoroughly I came away rather disappointed. I would not query Sherman's selection of diseases (porphyria/hemophilia, cholera, potato blight, malaria, syphilis, TB, smallpox, black death, yellow fever, influenza, AIDS) as comprehensively covering both the range of pathogens (from fungus to bacteria to virus) and the mode of transmission (inherited, airborne/ droplet, water-borne, STD, vector-borne) that have influenced human activity for the past several centuries. Rather, the problem is with the depth of discussion and the presumed audience. Each disease has a chapter devoted to it and begins with a potted history including origins, pathogenesis, mode of transmission, treatment and control, and how these have changed over time as new knowledge is discovered. So far, so good. However, closer inspection reveals that each history is culled from a handful of sources - invariably including the author's previous book "The Power of Plagues". There are no references cited in the text in any of the chapters making it difficult to verify or follow-up facts or interesting points oneself. At the end of the book there is a chapter-by-chapter bibliography revealing the paucity of information the author has used in compiling the book. The discussion and consequences of each disease discussed at the end of each chapter are also rather disappointing. Obvious points are laboured - more laboratory studies, more health promotion and education are called for; while more subtle points - e.g. cultural/societal factors affecting disease spread and control are skimmed over. In summary, this book falls between two stools - far too simplistic for an academic audience and rather too advanced for the layman (despite the author frequently resorting to everyday analogies to describe complex biological events).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lisa R. Kendall on March 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I'm a clinical microbiology nerd. However, after I read it, my father, who does not work in medicine, borrowed it and still found it very interesting. It is not written in clinical terminology, so anyone can understand it. It is a quick, but very informative read. I have actually read it twice!
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By Diane Z. on January 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I gave this book (actual book, no Ebooks available yet) to my RN sister, who is interested in diseases! She said the disease descriptions are very good, but there's too much history of each disease, she got the impression the historical writings were fillers..although the research was very good. Each disease got about equal write up, and for an RN there's not too much medical jargon. I myself leaved through the book and it looked pretty medical-ly to me (I'm not an RN), but all in all, I was told sis has much more insight into the epidemic diseases and their causes and how medicine and research has evolved. A perfect gift for a medical person who is interested in disease evolution.
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By Terry B on January 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book for the student interested in biology and history of how disease has affected life throughout history. My biology major daughter was very happy to receive as a gift.
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By Jocelyn on September 14, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Got a great copy used, had very little marks. It's working great for my classes and I'm very pleased.
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