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Rats, Lice and History
  • ISBN: 9781911440895
  • Pages: 320
  • Publisher: Duckworth Books
  • Binding: Paperback

Rats, Lice and History

The Classic Account of Infectious Disease and Human History

Hans Zinsser
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Both shocking and entertaining, this masterpiece of popular science writing tells the tragic story of the struggle between humanity and its humble but deadly enemies, the organisms of disease.

Zinsser shows how infectious disease simply represented an attempt of a living organism to survive. While from the human perspective an invading pathogen was abnormal, from the perspective of the pathogen it was perfectly normal.

From the pestilence which contributed to the downfall of Rome to the dancing manias of medieval Europe, the aristocracy’s fashion for wearing wigs and the role of typhus in the First World War, Zinsser reveals just how disease and epidemics have shaped human history.



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Hans Zinsser is stalking a murderer. His quarry has terrified hapless victims for centuries, coming upon them suddenly, by stealth, with overwhelming power and agility, sending whole cities into...

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