The Greatest Killer: Smallpox in History

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9780226351681: The Greatest Killer: Smallpox in History

Once known as the "great fire" or "spotted death," smallpox has been rivaled only by plague as a source of supreme terror. Although naturally occurring smallpox was eradicated in 1977, recent terrorist attacks in the United States have raised the possibility that someone might craft a deadly biological weapon from stocks of the virus that remain in known or perhaps unknown laboratories.

In The Greatest Killer, Donald R. Hopkins provides a fascinating account of smallpox and its role in human history. Starting with its origins 10,000 years ago in Africa or Asia, Hopkins follows the disease through the ancient and modern worlds, showing how smallpox removed or temporarily incapacitated heads of state, halted or exacerbated wars, and devastated populations that had never been exposed to the disease. In Hopkins's history, smallpox was one of the most dangerous—and influential—factors that shaped the course of world events.

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About the Author:

Donald R. Hopkins, M.D., is an associate executive director of The Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta. He is a former deputy and acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a physician who participated in the World Health Organization's Smallpox Eradication Program. The first edition of this book was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1983.

Review:

"This book tells the terrible history of smallpox, a saga that has new relevance given the awful possibility that someone might unleash the disease once again. It is a superb book." - former President Jimmy Carter

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Once known a the great fire, the spotted death or destroying angel , smallpox has been rivaled only by plague as a source of supreme terror. Spreading easily through the air, especially in crowded urban conditions, smallpox even today is fatal to 25 of its victims; there is no known cure once symptoms appear. Although naturally occurring smallpox was eradicated in 1977, recent terrorist attacks in the United States have raised the appalling possibility that someone might craft a deadly biological weapon from stocks of the virus that remain in known (and perhaps unknown) laboratories. In The Greatest Killer Donald R. Hopkins provides a fascinating account of smallpox and its role in human history. Starting with its origins 10,000 years ago in Africa or Asia, Hopkins follows the disease on its rampage through both the ancient and modern worlds, including its spread to Europe and the Americas. He describes how smallpox often wiped out whole villages and decimated the populations of entire regions, and how the disease disrupted agriculture and trade. Smallpox changed the course of history as it removed or temporarily incapacitated heads of state, halted or exacerbated wars, and devastated populations that had never been exposed to the disease. In Hopkins s history, smallpox was one of the most dangerous - and influential -characters that shaped the course of world events. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780226351681

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