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Yellow Fever, Black Goddess: The Coevolution Of People And Plagues (Helix Book)

 
 
 
 
Yellow Fever, Black Goddess: The Coevolution Of People And Plagues (Helix Book)
Author: Christopher Wills
ISBN 13: 9780201328189
ISBN 10: 201328186
Edition: N/A
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication Date: 1997-08-29
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
List Price: $17.50
 
 

"In this remarkable account, evolutionary biologist Christopher Wills takes us on a voyage of discovery through the exotic pasts of the viruses and bacteria that periodically emerge with such disastrou"

Publishers Weekly

Wills combines a vivid, gripping history of the impact of diseases upon civilization with a sobering survey of current plagues such as AIDS and resurgent tuberculosis. He examines bubonic plague in the Byzantine Empire, which reemerged eight centuries later as Europe's Black Death; dispassionately reviews the unresolved controversy over whether Columbus had syphilis and introduced it to Spain; and follows the devastating course of malaria in West Africa, bejel (a syphilis-like disease) among Middle Eastern Bedouins and such scourges as yellow fever; yaws, an infectious, contagious tropical disease; typhoid; and Ebola. A biology professor at UC-San Diego, Wills maintains that pathogens have helped shape the diversity of complex ecosystems as well as humans' immunological and biochemical diversity. Furthermore, he suggests, some germs have made a "Faustian bargain," an evolutionary compromise, altering their structures to become dependent on the specific behavior of their chosen hosts. This more balanced, less alarmist report deserves a place alongside Laurie Garrett's The Coming Plague and Richard Preston's The Hot Zone. Photos. (Oct.)