cover image of Epidemics


by Joshua S. Loomis


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This book comprehensively reviews the 10 most influential epidemics in history, going beyond morbid accounts of symptoms and statistics to tell the often forgotten stories of what made these epidemics so calamitous.

  • Discusses epidemic disease as a major driving force in shaping our world

  • Brings epidemic diseases out of the background of historical narratives and demonstrates how they have had an immensely important role in deciding wars, toppling empires, sparking major leaps in technology, and even changing the human genome

  • Integrates science with history, sociology, religion, and other disciplines to provide the reader with a unique perspective not found in most other accounts of epidemic disease

  • Shares fascinating insights such as how an epidemic of yellow fever helped to double the size of the United States and why tuberculosis was once considered a disease of the intellectual elite
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