Tropical Diseases: From 50,000 BC to 2500 AD

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9780002555173: Tropical Diseases: From 50,000 BC to 2500 AD

Tropical Diseases is the first book to show how life-threatening diseases have travelled – and continue to travel – to Europe and America from Africa and Asia.

The tug of war between man and his parasites.

History and science mixed to perfection.

We live in a fool’s paradise, comforted, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that we are isolated and insulated from the microbial and parasitic diseases that so beset tropical climates.

Yet recent history demonstrates clearly that pathogens have no respect for national borders, and that many of the diseases we assume are exclusively tropical actually occur with alarming frequency in developed countries with temperate climates

This book shows how the world has never fitted into neat compartments, and how human migrants from 50,000BC until today have brought dangerous pathogens with them to their new homes.

Desowitz demonstrates for the first time the social and economic effects of tropical diseases in more hospitable climates. He shows how one of the reasons for the perpetuation of slavery was that it was uneconomic to free African forced-labourers, whose semi-immunity to malaria and yellow fever meant that they were able to keep working when non-Africans would have become chronically unwell.

The final section of the book addresses the potentially catastrophic health problems facing the Third World today, and weighs the risk that new ‘doomsday bugs’ will emerge and be transferred to the developed world. This incisive and brilliantly well-written book shows that how we deal with such health threats may well be one of the most sensitive moral and political questions of our time.

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

Review:

Praise for The Malaria Capers:

‘Like Stephen Jay Gould and Lewis Thomas, Desowitz manages to make the basic principles of his subject immediately comprehensible to the general reader.’
New York Times

‘Like a novelist, Desowitz draws the reader into the human tragedy of disease’
Los Angeles Times

From the Back Cover:

We live in a fool's paradise, comforted, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that we are isolated and insulated from the microbial and parasitic diseases that beset tropical climates. Yet recent history demonstrates clearly that pathogens have no respect for national borders, and that many of the diseases we assume are exclusively tropical actually have occurred with alarming frequency in developed countries with temperate climates – the Ebola virus in the USA, malaria epidemics in Kent and Sussex and yellow fever in Swansea.

'Tropical Diseases' traces the origins of these frightening, but by no means unusual cases. Did Columbus and his crew bring syphilis back from the New World? Did Charles Darwin suffer and eventually die from the bite of an assassin bug while travelling through Argentina? Robert Desowitz shows that the world has never fitted into neat compartments, and that human migrants from 50,000BC until today have unknowingly carried dangerous pathogens around the world. He also examines the potentially catastrophic health problems facing the Third World, and weighs the risk that new 'doomsday bugs' – microbial diseases of unprecedented savagery – will emerge and be transferred to the developed world. With temperatures, sea levels and populations set to rise in the next millennium, Desowitz predicts that the virulent 'hot strain' diseases of the tropics will inch ever closer to our temperate climes.

This witty, incisive and brilliantly well-written book shows that our response to these complex and potentially devastating health threats may well be one of the most sensitive moral and political questions of our time.

"Like Stephen Jay Gould and Lewis Thomas, Desowitz manages to make the basic principles of his subject immediately comprehensible to the general reader."
NEW YORK TIMES

"Like a novelist, Desowitz draws the reader into the human tragedy of disease"
LOS ANGELES TIMES

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Desowitz, Robert
Published by Harpercollins Uk (1997)
ISBN 10: 0002555174 ISBN 13: 9780002555173
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Book Description Harpercollins Uk, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110002555174

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Desowitz, Robert
Published by Harpercollins Uk (1997)
ISBN 10: 0002555174 ISBN 13: 9780002555173
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
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Irish Booksellers
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Book Description Harpercollins Uk, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 2555174

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