Germs, Genes, & Civilization: How Epidemics Shaped Who We Are Today

Germs, Genes, & Civilization: How Epidemics Shaped Who We Are Today

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by David Clark
     
 

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In Germs, Genes and Civilization, Dr. David Clark tells the story of the microbe-driven epidemics that have repeatedly molded our human destinies. You'll discover how your genes have been shaped through millennia spent battling against infectious diseases. You'll learn how epidemics have transformed human history, over and over again, from ancient

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Overview

In Germs, Genes and Civilization, Dr. David Clark tells the story of the microbe-driven epidemics that have repeatedly molded our human destinies. You'll discover how your genes have been shaped through millennia spent battling against infectious diseases. You'll learn how epidemics have transformed human history, over and over again, from ancient Egypt to Mexico, the Romans to Attila the Hun. You'll learn how the Black Death epidemic ended the Middle Ages, making possible the Renaissance, western democracy, and the scientific revolution. Clark demonstrates how epidemics have repeatedly shaped not just our health and genetics, but also our history, culture, and politics. You'll even learn how they may influence religion and ethics, including the ways they may help trigger cultural cycles of puritanism and promiscuity. Perhaps most fascinating of all, Clark reveals the latest scientific and philosophical insights into the interplay between microbes, humans, and society - and previews what just might come next.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Clark (Molecular Biology Made Simple and Fun) argues that microscopic bacteria, viruses, and fungi have played an enormous and largely unacknowledged role in human history. Beginning with Attila's attack of Rome, which was likely stopped by dysentery, and continuing through modern diseases such as AIDS and the Ebola virus, Clark investigates a large number of illnesses and uncovers the ways in which they have impacted historical events. The same genes that provide humanity with protection against some endemic diseases, Clark argues, may also cause sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis. With wit and humor, the author turns death, an ever-heavy topic, into an engrossing exploration of the course of mankind. Though Clark's lack of references will make it difficult for readers to gain additional information, there's much of interest in this chronicle of microbes through the ages. (Jun.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780137068685
Publisher:
Pearson Education
Publication date:
01/08/2010
Series:
FT Press Science
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
File size:
352 KB

Meet the Author

David Clark was born June 1952 in Croydon, a London suburb. After winning a scholarship to Christ’s College, Cambridge, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1973. In 1977, he earned his Ph.D. from Bristol University for work on antibiotic resistance. David then left England for postdoctoral research at Yale and then the University of Illinois. He joined the faculty of Southern Illinois University in 1981 and is now a professor in the Microbiology Department. In 1991, he visited Sheffield University, England, as a Royal Society Guest Research Fellow. The U.S. Department of Energy funded David’s research into the genetics and regulation of bacterial fermentation from 1982 till 2007. David has published more than 70 articles in scientific journals and graduated more than 20 masters and Ph.D. students. David is the author of Molecular Biology Made Simple and Fun, now in its third edition, as well as three more serious textbooks.

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Germs, Genes, & Civilization: How Epidemics Shaped Who We Are Today 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
DavidWile More than 1 year ago
This was a most interesting book and subject for me, especially considering the fact that I never even had biology in college. While many of the premises the author provides are fairly easy to grasp, there were some things that I simply was unprepared to comprehend. Instead of feeling frustration while reading these parts, however, I found I wished I could be in a classroom studying this subject and able to ask the teacher questions on so many things. Usually I am more inclined to read fiction for entertainment. As noted in a few other reviews, however, I found this book to be a page turner. Best wishes, Dave Wile
kamas716 More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent book. It's well written for the lay person. Anyone who's taken high school biology, or even just 7th grade life sciences, will have no problems understanding the biological aspects of this book. It makes for a nice companion to Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies in explaining how societies have been affected by the germs they've been exposed to. It's not terribly long, but it's broken up into sub-chapters every couple of pages. The table of contents is longer than some of the sub-chapters. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest history, anthropology or sociology as well as those who are interested in biology (specifically diseases). The eBook was formatted fine with no obvious errors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can only recommend this one. Great analysis and full of stories and parallels with the past. The only drawback I can think of would be some repetitions in the exemples. It's really a keeper!
JanaRama More than 1 year ago
This book was amazingly fascinating! I thought it would be interesting, but found that I couldn't put it down. I would love to be one of Dr Clark's students - he presents his subject in such a clear, simple, understandable way! The book pointed out many aspects of history that I had never considered before, making me realize how critical disease was to political events. I strongly recommend this as a great read.
Ispy More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It is an interesting perspective on how we - the world has arrived where we are today. Well written and readable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fascinating book. Well written and easy to understand for regular people who did not major in biology or medicine. I would recommend this for everyone, so everyone can undertand how illnesses are spread.
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