The Mosquito Crusades: A History of the American Anti-Mosquito Movement from the Reed Commission to the First Earth Day

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Among the struggles of the twentieth century, the one between humans and mosquitoes may have been the most vexing, as demonstrated by the long battle to control these bloodsucking pests. As vectors of diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis, and dengue fever, mosquitoes forced open a new chapter in the history of medical entomology. Based on extensive use of primary sources, The Mosquito Crusades traces this saga and the parallel efforts of civic groups in New Jersey's Meadowlands and along San Francisco Bay's east side to manage the dangerous mosquito population.

Providing readers with a fascinating exploration of the relationship between science, technology, and public policy, Gordon Patterson's narrative begins in New Jersey with John B. Smith's effort to develop a comprehensive plan and solution for mosquito control, one that would serve as a national model. From the Reed Commission's 1900 yellow fever experiment to the first Earth Day seventy years later, Patterson provides an eye-opening account of the crusade to curtail the deadly mosquito population.

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Editorial Reviews

American Historical Review

"Gordon Patterson has written a detailed history of mosquito control and eradication efforts throughout the United States."
director, Armed Forces Pest Management Board - Stanton E. Cope
"This is a singularly impressive work that will appeal to a broad audi
Editor, Agricultural History - Claire Strom

"Patterson tells a complex and nuanced story of how politics, individuals, and science combined to combat mosquitoes throughout the twentieth century. He demonstrates that policy decisions emerged at the intersection of knowledge and culture, resulting in a continually changing approach to insect control."
professor emeritus of entomology, University of California, Davis - Bruce F. Eldridge

"An expertly written story of the origins and development of public mosquito abatement in the United States. I know of no other author having a better understanding of the subject."
professor of history emeritus, Northwestern University - Thomas William Heyck

"This is a fascinating, well-informed study of the campaign spanning twentieth century American history to control deadly mosquitos. It has important, thought-provoking ecological lessons."
director, Armed Forces Pest Management Board - Captain Stanton E. Cope

"This is a singularly impressive work that will appeal to a broad audi
American Historical Review

"Gordon Patterson has written a detailed history of mosquito control and eradication efforts throughout the United States."

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Gordon Patterson is a professor of history at the Florida Institute of Technology and author of The Mosquito Wars: A History of Mosquito Control in Florida.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction Waging War on the Insect Menace The Garden State Takes the Lead A Continental Crusade Public Health, Race, and Mosquitoes Widening the Campaign Advances and Retreats during the Great Depression Weapons of Mass Destruction The Postwar Era The End of the Crusade Notes Index

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