Deadly Companions

Deadly Companions : How microbes shaped our history

3.89 (237 ratings by Goodreads)
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Ever since we started huddling together in communities, the story of human history has been inextricably entwined with the story of microbes. They have evolved and spread amongst us, shaping our culture through infection, disease, and pandemic. At the same time, our changing human culture has itself influenced the evolutionary path of microbes. Dorothy H. Crawford here shows that one cannot be truly understood without the other. Beginning with a dramatic account of the SARS pandemic at the start of the 21st century, she takes us back in time to follow the interlinked history of microbes and man, taking an up-to-date look at ancient plagues and epidemics, and identifying key changes in the way humans have lived - such as our move from hunter-gatherer to farmer to city-dweller - which made us vulnerable to microbe attack. Showing how we live our lives today - with increasing crowding and air travel - puts us once again at risk, Crawford asks whether we might ever conquer microbes completely, or whether we need to take a more microbe-centric view of the world.Among the possible answers, one thing becomes clear: that for generations to come, our deadly companions will continue to shape human more

Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 146 x 218 x 30mm | 480.81g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 25 black and white line drawings and halftones
  • 0192807196
  • 9780192807199
  • 943,122

Review quote

Lucid and authoritative... crisply written narrative. Wendy Moore, Sunday Telegraph Fascinating... Deadly Companions is authoritative, detailed and - despite its gruesome subject - never sensational. PD Smith, The Guardianshow more

About Dorothy H. Crawford

Dorothy Crawford is Professor of Medical Microbiology at the University of Edinburgh, where she is also Assistant Principal for the Public Understanding of Medicine. She was awarded an OBE in 2005 for services to medicine and higher education. Books by the same author: The Invisible Enemy: A Natural History of Virusesshow more

Table of contents

Preface ; Introduction ; 1. How it all began ; 2. Microbes and our hunter gatherer ancestors ; 3. Microbes exploit the sedentary lifestyle ; 4. Microbes, crowds and poverty ; 5. Microbes go global ; 6. Microbes, famine and starvation ; 7. Science intervenes ; 8. Current problems ; Conclusions ; Glossary ; Indexshow more

Rating details

237 ratings
3.89 out of 5 stars
5 23% (55)
4 46% (108)
3 28% (67)
2 3% (7)
1 0% (0)
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