Ë Read Õ Plague: A Story of Science, Rivalry, and the Scourge That Won't Go Away by Edward Marriott ✓ A good read, easy and interesting all on a pretty grim subject A little bit of history, a bit of science, some sociology and politics, it s all here For anyone who likes popular science and the history of disease, this is a great book Even for someone who doesn t usually read science, this is certainly worth a try if one is at all interested in the subject This isn t Black Death circa Middle Ages it is plague circa 20th and 21st century.
You probably think of Bubonic Plague as an ancient disease that disappeared long ago Not so This is a modern history of the disease, focusing on the great Pandemic that originated in Hong Kong in 1894 From Hong Kong, Bubonic Plague spread throughout the world to many places including the United States It appeared in San Francisco at that time, for example After reaching North America, Plague became entrenched in wild rodents in the American West The result is that we have a few human cases just about every year in the U.
S today that are transmitted from contact with infected wild rodents Two early Microbiologists Yersin, a student of Pasteur, and Kitasato, a student of Koch went to Hong Kong at the onset of the modern Pandemic to try to isolate the bacterium that causes the disease You Thought The Bubonic Plague Had Gone The Way Of Powdered Wigs Try Again It Could Happen Anytime Edward Marriott S Dramatic, Gripping New Book Gives You Yet Another Thing To Worry About New York Plague The Very Word Carries An Unholy Resonance No Other Disease Can Claim Its Apocalyptic Power It Can Lie Dormant For Centuries, Only To Resurface With Nation Killing Force Here, With The High Drama Of An Adventure Tale, Edward Marriott Unravels The Story Of This Lethal Disease The Historic Battle To Identify Its Source, The Devastating Effects Of Pandemics, And The Prospects For New Outbreaks Marriott Begins The Trail In Hong Kong In The Summer Of , When A Plague Diagnosis Brought To The Island Two Top Scientists Alexandre Yersin, A Maverick Frenchman, And His Japanese Rival, Shibasaburo Kitasato Marriott Interweaves The Narrative Of Their Fierce Competition With Vivid Scenes Of The Scourge S Persistence California In Surat, India, In And New York City Sometime In The FutureA Masterly Account Of Medical And Human History, Plague Is At Once An Instructive Warning And A Chilling read Not a bad book, but also not what I was expecting The book focuses nearly entirely on the people involved in various plague outbreaks on the doctors who discovered the cause, on the politicians who got in the way, and on a newspaper reporter caught in a recent outbreak in India There is very little discussion of the disease itself, not much information on plague beyond what you might find in a high school science or history book I was thinking this would be similar to Carl Zimmer s book Microcosm which discussed both the history and biology of e coli in great depth The discovery history is interesting, though it feels somehow cramped, which is probably due to a lack of sources to flesh it out in further detail and relation to other events The From the third person perspective, Marriott did a great job in narrating the plague in different parts of the world and the rivalry between two scientists A significant deliberation of the book was on the plague in 1894 Hong Kong Marriott did a vast research on the people and the historical background of the area Like in a trance, I found myself time traveled to the imaginary black and white era and seeing things through his narration This is a good beginner s book for those who are interested in the history of plague A good read.
You would not think a book about two scientist competing with each other to find the cause of Bubonic Plague would be so interesting, but this was fascinating Japanese researcher Shibasaburo Kitasato and French bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin were in a race with time in Hong Kong in the late 19th century Shibasaburo Kitasato was a brilliant scientist with a world wide reputation He had a lab and funding to carry out his research in Hong Kong Alexandre Yersin was on an extremely limited budget and was forced to research on the plague ships in the harbor and yet is was Yersin who discovered the key to the way the plague was spread He was also the first to discover a vaccine.
I really enjoyed the parallel stories of a modern day outbreak and the search for the bacillus and the source responsible for the plague It is rather sad to me that Yersin likely never knew how truly his research was vindicated Interesting to see that corruption and favoritism even negatively impacted scientific research in the 1890 s I enjoyed the whole book except the chapter about rats That was freaky.
This book is an entertaining and scary look at plague, and how easily and recently it could be has been upon us again Interestingly, I had read this book before, but didn t remember it until I had read a few chapters And by then I was hooked enough to want to re read it The rivalry between the humble Swiss virologist and the lauded and incorrect Japanese scientist is fascinating, and the included photographs are a nice plus.
I was worried this was going to be written in technical terms and hard to understand but since the subject interests me so much I gave it a whirl I learned about the plague than I probably will ever need to know and found it a fascinating read It was very informative on plague and the two men credited with isolating where it originated from Delved into not only their professional lives but their personal ones and a pretty rounded out history of this dreaded disease that I know now lies in wait to pounce once again on an unsuspecting populace Frightening