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Plague: A Story of Rivalry, Science, and the…
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Plague: A Story of Rivalry, Science, and the Scourge That Won't Go Away (utgåvan 2003)

av Edward Marriott (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1012204,180 (3.68)1
"Cutting a swath through medical papers, statistical reports, journals, letters, and interviews, Marriott pieces together the great untold tale of the plague pioneers. He reconstructs the summer of 1894, when a diagnosis of plague brought to Hong Kong two scientists in search of its source: the maverick Frenchman Alexandre Yersin and the eminent Shibasaburo Kitasato from Japan. With thrilling detail, Marriott re-creates their rivalry and the dramatic events surrounding the discovery of the plague bacterium, skillfully weaving in the pathology of the disease and the mechanics of an epidemic. Moving forward, Marriott explores the persistence of plague: in Surat, India, in 1994, the site of the biggest outbreak of plague in seventy years; and in the United States, where since its arrival in California in 1900, plague has remained a continuing threat - particularly in New York, a city with a rat for every human being and a diminishing budget for pest control. Finally he addresses the possibility of a new pandemic, one in which plague has become resistant to antibiotics."--BOOK JACKET.… (mer)
Medlem:pjareo
Titel:Plague: A Story of Rivalry, Science, and the Scourge That Won't Go Away
Författare:Edward Marriott (Författare)
Info:Metropolitan Books (2003), Edition: 1st, 320 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Plague: A Story of Rivalry, Science, and the Scourge That Won't Go Away av Edward Marriott

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Plague. There is a lot of books on the stuff. In fact, trying to link to this book on the forums using touchstones is quite difficult, considering the countless other books with the same name. Many of the books use plague as a blanket term to describe a disease in general, however. This, of course, is a testament to how deeply-rooted our fear of plague has become, that its name can be used to describe any disease that causes widespread destruction. It has wreaked a lot of havoc in the past, and the mere mention of its name has come to signify terror.

Edward Marriott's Plague focuses on two outbreaks a century apart, 1894 Hong Kong and 1994 Surat. I found this going back and forth a bit confusing as I sometimes didn't realize which time period I was reading from, but then I realized how scary that was, that I couldn't tell the difference between a plague outbreak in the 1800's and one from less than 20 years ago.

The book also focuses on the rivalry between Alexandre Yersin and Shibasaburo Kitasato. Both were in Hong Kong in 1894 trying to solve the same riddle of plague, but both had entirely different experiences. Kitasato was the local hero, who had anything he wanted and the support of the public. Yersin on the other hand, was rejected, restricted, and forced to work in a straw hut in horrible conditions. Not that it mattered, there is a reason plague is known as Yersinia Pestis today.

Plague is a perfectly decent book. It's a little all over the place and I sometimes felt the author couldn't decide where he wanted to go with his book, and in the end I felt like there was a little something missing. It left me with that vague, slightly-unsatisfied feeling. I can't find a whole lot to complain about but I find a good reason to praise it either. It's just okay. ( )
1 rösta Ape | Apr 9, 2011 |
This was an interesting, informative and chilling read. Plague. The word sends chills down my spine. No other word in the English language has the same ability to inspire fear as this one - not even words like war, torture, murder, holocaust, can inspire the same sense of dread as that one word. Plague.

Yet how many of us truly know the history of this disease? Sure, we've all heard of the famous 'Black Plague' outbreak that wiped out something like a third of Europe, but what of it's more recent history? Did you know, for example, that there had been outbreaks in America? Or that there is not a single continent on Earth not affected by plague (except, perhaps Antarctica)? Or that there had been a plague outbreak (in Surat, India) as recently as 1994?

I, for one, learned a lot from this well-written history of the search for this elusive creature - plague. Both informative and enjoyable to read, this book takes us through the history of this disease and the bitter rivalry that led, eventually, to the discovery of both cause and carrier. I highly recommend this to anyone with an interest in science, medicine or history, or simply with a taste for the macabre. ( )
1 rösta seldombites | Jun 2, 2008 |
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"Cutting a swath through medical papers, statistical reports, journals, letters, and interviews, Marriott pieces together the great untold tale of the plague pioneers. He reconstructs the summer of 1894, when a diagnosis of plague brought to Hong Kong two scientists in search of its source: the maverick Frenchman Alexandre Yersin and the eminent Shibasaburo Kitasato from Japan. With thrilling detail, Marriott re-creates their rivalry and the dramatic events surrounding the discovery of the plague bacterium, skillfully weaving in the pathology of the disease and the mechanics of an epidemic. Moving forward, Marriott explores the persistence of plague: in Surat, India, in 1994, the site of the biggest outbreak of plague in seventy years; and in the United States, where since its arrival in California in 1900, plague has remained a continuing threat - particularly in New York, a city with a rat for every human being and a diminishing budget for pest control. Finally he addresses the possibility of a new pandemic, one in which plague has become resistant to antibiotics."--BOOK JACKET.

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