Bruno Leone Disease in History

ISBN 13: 9781601529602

Disease in History

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9781601529602: Disease in History
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Looks at the history of infectious disease, covering plagues around the world and how germ theory changed the way sick people were treated.

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Gr 6 Up-Although sometimes brushed over in textbooks, disease has played the role of history's most dangerous villain and has impacted the course of history in significant ways, argues Leone. The first several chapters examine several significant events in early history. For instance, the arrival of typhus in 430 BCE contributed to the defeat of Athens in the Peloponnesian War and led to the decline of Greek hegemony. The Black Death ushered in the end of the Middle Ages; it created such a shortage of labor that the relationship between landholders and workers shifted, reorganizing society. After covering the medieval period, the book shifts gears, concentrating more on scientific advances and less on ways disease has shaped history. The author describes the origins of germ theory and the crucial work of various scientists, beginning in the early 1700s with Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, and covering other significant contributors such as John Snow, Joseph Lister, Robert Koch, and Louis Pasteur. The final chapter addresses the question of whether infectious diseases will ever be conquered. Leone's answer is a resounding no. The material is fascinating and important, but this volume might have benefited from a more sustained focus on the ways disease has affected history. However, students writing papers on the subject will find this offering useful. VERDICT Packed with fascinating information, this is a good resource for those doing research, but the content doesn't quite match the promise of the title.-Ragan O'Malley, Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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