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Deadly Feasts: The "Prion" Controversy and the Public's Health Paperback – May 22, 1998
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Scientific Teaching Series
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From Library Journal
-?Wilda Williams, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
In the late 1990's there was a slew of books published on the subject of disease and the possibilities of biological warfare thanks in no small part to Richard Preston's magnificent The Hot Zone. In The Hot Zone Preston writes with an almost fictional intensity about a class of viruses that kill in a quick and horrifying fashion. It was The Hot Zone that brought Ebola to the public consciousness. Rhodes' book, too, is about killer illnesses but of a different type. The Hot Zone presents us with what are, despite their horribleness, rather exotic diseases. Deadly Feasts presents us relentlessly fatal diseases that might very well already be infiltrating our Western population through that most dangerous source--our food supply.
Rhodes' book presents the links between a disease called kuru which was passed through the women and children in aboriginal tribes in New Guinea and a rare disease that Westerners may be picking up through, you guessed it, the so-called "mad-cow disease." Kuru was transferred by human cannibalism and the disease was eliminated by stopping this practice. Mad-cow disease is passed by the "cannibalism" of cows by humans.
Preston's book is highly intense because of the visible horror of the symptoms he describes and the speed with which victims are overcome.Read more ›
Skilfully, Rhodes tells a captivating tale of prion diseases as they've made their way through the food chain and into human beings. Rhodes' predictions are grim, and the book does not end on a happy note. But though his style is sensationalistic at times, you can't flaw Rhodes' research or the suspense-filled way he lays out the facts.
When you finish this book (IF you have the stomach to finish), you WILL reassess your meat-eating habits. You will squirm and wonder if it's not already too late. Rhodes sets himself up as a prophet of doom and he delivers most capably, with all the meticulous scientific detail modern readers expect.
Deadly Feasts will creep you out, but also send you scurrying to buy copies for your friends, neighbours and probably your local butcher, too. You'll regret having read it, but you'll never forgive yourself if you don't...
With this book, you can immerse yourself in the adventures of Carleton Gajdusek as he integrates into (and comes to prefer) a Stone-Age cannibalistic culture in New Guinea. Gajdusek is the legitimate pioneer in the field of prion research and theory, a true scientist who sacrificed much, gave fair credit to his colleagues and collaborators, and was ever skeptical even of his own work. ...
The biggest thing I walked away from with this book, was not the question of whether we're all going to die from prion diseases, but rather, "I wonder just how pervasive this kind of unseen political scheming occurs in other walks of life?" ...
The book is also chock-full of quite amazing science--new and amazing biological concepts that you are sure to have never heard of. The "prion" problem, if the theories are correct, is stunningly simple (even elegant). This book explains it in very accessible terms (at one time using Vonnegut's "Ice 9" as a really great metaphor), but not in a way that panders or insults. You feel like you understand the theories in their entirety, with all angles explored, but are not lost in incomprehensible jargon. You also gain an appreciation for the hard work, hair-pulling, creativity, "eureka" moments, scientific rigor, and self-doubt that goes into this field and other scientific fields. Readable by science idiots and savants alike.
Other reviews of this book note the doomsday nature of it's ending, with dire predictions. Well I disagree. There are no "predictions". Only possible--but not necessarily likely--scenarios. Most importantly, the predictions are not unavoidable. ...
I have not eaten much beef in the last year or so as I am trying to loose weight and watch my cholesterol intake.
After reading Deadly Feasts, I am not sure whether I want to ever eat any meat again, but if the facts are correct, being vegetarian only lessens the chances of being infected.
I was appalled at the lack of care given the continued innoculation of children with growth hormones. I've always suspected that some medical practioners do not live up to their oath, but this is something that actually proves that.
The governments don't seem any too keen to come up against major industries for the sake of the people they govern.
I say this is a book you must read. You will probably not want to read it, but on the other hand you won't be able to put it down due to its pertinence to all of us.
This book is scary, but very necessary. This information was out there when Oprah was being sued. It definitely proves a point
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The only thing that would have made this first edition better is if it signed by Rhodes.Published 19 days ago by R.T. Reiman
Rhodes knows how to capture the reader's attention, and organizes the threads of the story of transmissible encepalopathies (brain diseases) in a very readable way. Read morePublished 2 months ago by vfrickey
Ok I admit it, I'm a science geek. This is my third copyof this book because I keep lending my coffee out and never getting it back. Read morePublished 13 months ago by barbiedee
No one is better than Richard Rhodes at conveying technical information to non-technical readers .Published 21 months ago by Eivin Brudie
I first read this book in 2003, while going to California to work on the Exotic Newcastle Disease eradication program for USDA. Read morePublished on October 16, 2014 by Doug Johnson
I bought this book as required reading for class as a text about the origins of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), aka mad cow disease. Read morePublished on June 24, 2014 by slim