The Rules of Contagion: Why Things Spread--And Why They Stop 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 43 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-1541674318
ISBN-10: 1541674316
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Frequently bought together

  • The Rules of Contagion: Why Things Spread--And Why They Stop
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In this smart and engaging tour of epidemiology, written before the pandemic, Kucharski makes a convincing case that just as the arc of an epidemic depends on the transmissibility of a virus and a population's susceptibility to infection, so online contagions obey similar rules."―New York Times Book Review

"The Rules of Contagion is a fascinating and richly detailed excursion into a science as old as biblical plagues and as current as today's headlines: the science of contagion, of disease, of ideas, of emotions, of everything. This is a book you'll want to spread to your friends."― Jordan Ellenberg, author of How Not to Be Wrong

"Perfect timing.... Prepares the ground comprehensively for readers to make sense of what is happening today, by distilling the wisdom gathered by studying previous epidemics over more than a century."―Financial Times

"Learned and lucid.... Coronavirus has prompted hot-headed public and media reaction; this book offers comfort in the form of cold, hard facts."―The Prospect

"A fascinating exploration of the mathematics of things that go viral--not least of them viruses.... Kucharski takes his readers down provocative detours, such as the use of public-health models of disease transmission to examine how social networks figure in urban gun violence, with algorithms that take into account such things as 'age gang affiliations, and prior arrests.'... Utterly timely and readable."―Kirkus Reviews

"It is hard to imagine a more timely book ... much of the modern world will make more sense having read it."―The Times (UK)

"This is a hell of a moment for a book like this to come out ... the principles of contagion, which, Kucharski argues, can be applied to everything from folk stories and financial crises to itching and loneliness, are suddenly of pressing interest to all of us."―Sunday Times (UK)

"The Rules of Contagion is popular science at its best. The prose is sparkling and clear. The subject is deeply fascinating and highly relevant. Touching on psychology, medicine, network theory and mathematics, epidemiologist Adam Kucharski has written a brilliant and authoritative guide to the hidden laws of how things spread - from ideas and memes, to violence and deadly viruses. An example of its subject matter, this book is also highly contagious: once you have read it, you will want to make sure others read it too."
Alex Bellos, author of Alex's Adventures in Numberland

"Rich in stories, The Rules of Contagion is a down-to-earth account of how mathematical approaches can help us better understand and, in turn, better respond to contagion in all its dynamic forms. Tackling issues from pandemics and gun violence, to financial crises and misinformation, Adam Kucharski inspires us all to think like mathematicians. A must read for anybody interested in epidemics and other crises."―Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

About the Author

Adam Kucharski is an associate professor and a Sir Henry Dale fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he works on analysis of infectious disease outbreaks. The author of The Perfect Bet, he lives in London.

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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
43 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on March 31, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on July 9, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on July 10, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on July 31, 2020

Top international reviews

M. Dowden
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 23, 2020
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Jon A. Crowcroft
5.0 out of 5 stars best thing to read right now to understand what's going on
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 14, 2020
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15 people found this helpful
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Oleks GALKA
4.0 out of 5 stars Contagious book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 10, 2020
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Neasa MacErlean
4.0 out of 5 stars Introduction to herd immunity and infection
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 18, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very readable
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 13, 2020
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Clinton
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 18, 2020
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007Intrepid
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes sense of why things spread (ideas, viruses, memes etc)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 5, 2020
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Davesks
5.0 out of 5 stars Kucharski is a legend - always gripping
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 18, 2020
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Tony Pitchford
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't think of a more timely book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 22, 2020
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Phil Cullis
3.0 out of 5 stars OK - but slightly disappointing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 18, 2020
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hilljgjz
5.0 out of 5 stars Very timely and useful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 12, 2020
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Marian Ings
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and interesting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 18, 2020
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Iain Webster
3.0 out of 5 stars Started, but....
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 10, 2020
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Lyn M
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and interesting read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 13, 2020
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J Rotheray
5.0 out of 5 stars Wide-ranging and fascinating
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 2, 2020
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