Dread: How Fear and Fantasy have Fueled Epidemics from the Black Death to the Avian Flu

Dread: How Fear and Fantasy have Fueled Epidemics from the Black Death to the Avian Flu

4.0 2
by Philip Alcabes
     
 

ISBN-10: 1586486187

ISBN-13: 9781586486181

Pub. Date: 04/13/2009

Publisher: PublicAffairs


The average individual is far more likely to die in a car accident than from a communicable disease…yet we are still much more fearful of the epidemic. Even at our most level-headed, the thought of an epidemic can inspire terror. As Philip Alcabes persuasively argues in Dread, our anxieties about epidemics are created not so much by the germ or microbe

Overview


The average individual is far more likely to die in a car accident than from a communicable disease…yet we are still much more fearful of the epidemic. Even at our most level-headed, the thought of an epidemic can inspire terror. As Philip Alcabes persuasively argues in Dread, our anxieties about epidemics are created not so much by the germ or microbe in question—or the actual risks of contagion—but by the unknown, the undesirable, and the misunderstood.

Alcabes examines epidemics through history to show how they reflect the particular social and cultural anxieties of their times. From Typhoid Mary to bioterrorism, as new outbreaks are unleashed or imagined, new fears surface, new enemies are born, and new behaviors emerge. Dread dissects the fascinating story of the imagined epidemic: the one that we think is happening, or might happen; the one that disguises moral judgments and political agendas, the one that ultimately expresses our deepest fears.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781586486181
Publisher:
PublicAffairs
Publication date:
04/13/2009
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.50(d)

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Dread: How Fear and Fantasy have Fueled Epidemics from the Black Death to the Avian Flu 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
NYC-Reader More than 1 year ago
This book should give everyone pause and help calm the current panic over swine flu. It is a history of how people and governments have manipulated our fears of disaster. Usually someone gains when we all worry so much about extraordinary problems that we don't stop and keep to the basics--good standard of living for everyone. I found this argument really enlightening. Though it is counter-intuitive, Alcabes really persuades, with lots of facts and really good arguments. He covers SARS and AIDS and Obesity and Autism, and more. By the way, this book is listed as psychology, but it is actually infectious diseases and public health
Anonymous More than 1 year ago