Epidemics and Ideas

Epidemics and Ideas : Essays on the Historical Perception of Pestilence

3.85 (7 ratings by Goodreads)
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From plague to AIDS, epidemics have been the most spectacular diseases to afflict human societies. This volume examines the way in which these great crises have influenced ideas, how they have helped to shape theological, political and social thought, and how they have been interpreted and understood in the intellectual context of their time.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139240463
  • 9781139240468

Table of contents

1. Introduction Paul Slack; 2. Epidemic, ideas and classical Athenian society James Longrigg; 3. Disease, dragons and saints: the management of epidemics in the Dark Ages Peregrine Horden; 4. Epidemic disease in formal and popular thought in early Islamic Society Lawrence I. Conrad; 5. Plague and perceptions of the poor in early modern Italy Brian Pullan; 6. Dearth, dirt and fever epidemics: rewriting the history of British 'public health', 1780-1850 John V. Pickstone; 7. Epidemics and revolutions: cholera in nineteenth-century Europe Richard J. Evans; 8. Hawaiian depopulation as a model for the Amerindian experience A. W. Crosby; 9. Plague panic and epidemic politics in India, 1896-1914 Rajnarayan Chandavarkar; 10. Plagues of beasts and men; prophetic responses to epidemic in eastern and southern Africa Terence Ranger; 11. Syphilis in colonial East and Central Africa: the social construction of an epidemic Megan Vaughan; 12. The early years of AIDS in the United Kingdom 1981-6: historical perspectives Virginia Berridge; Index.show more

Review quote

'Epidemics and Ideas shows how epidemics evoke a series of recognisable reactions and responses from society beyond the specifics of pathogen, place or time. It is a very modern book, which brings successfully together history, anthropology, sociology and other so-called social sciences with medicine, or at least with public health. It goes far beyond the earlier appreciation of the relationship between human society and diseases ... [and] brings a vast specialised literature about past epidemics and the response of society to them within reach of the general reader'. New Scientist '... a remarkable cohesive and delightfully variegated book that brings medical and biological history into firm and fruitful contact with intellectual and social history ... This is, in short, a splendid book - subtle, informed, sophisticated and coherent. It shows how successfully the social history of epidemics has come of age in recent years'. The Journal of Social Historyshow more

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