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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Bernard J. Turnock, MD, MPH (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Description: This book represents an enormously challenging and important effort to characterize the history and geography of human diseases and man's response to those diseases. The only previous comprehensive effort of this type was written more than 100 years ago when very little of modern science was available.
Purpose: By capturing the historic, geographic, and epidemiologic aspects of human disease in one encyclopedic work, this book attempts to make that knowledge available to students, scientists and other scholars.
Audience: Humanists and social scientists will find this work especially useful as the scientific and medical complexities are linked to history, geography, and anthropology. The cataloging of this information will also be attractive to the physical scientist and public health audience who will value the social science implications of the history and geography of human disease.
Features: The book provides an interesting and useful system of indexes that provides a virtual road map through this complex collection of essays. The text and illustrations tend to be quite scholarly, and ample and appropriate references are provided throughout.
Assessment: Overall, this book is an important, although enormous undertaking that largely hits its mark despite the unevenness inherent in its numerous contributors and not infrequent duplication among the essays.