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From the Publisher"Brilliant. Ranging freely across the 'Greater Caribbean' … McNeill makes a riveting case that the primary driver in the colonial conflicts there was not political or economic but microbiological."
Charles C. Mann, Wall Street Journal
"J. R. McNeill’s new book does more than exhibit his usual gifts – breadth of range, mastery of material, depth of insight, freedom of thought, clarity of expression. It has changed the way I think about empires of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and will challenge many readers’ assumptions about the limits of human agency in shaping great events."
Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, University of Notre Dame
"In this authoritative and engaging book, J. R. McNeill argues convincingly that disease played a pivotal role in many of the momentous events of Caribbean history. He shows how the region’s disease ecology changed following the advent of European colonization and how this served and then subverted the interests of the Caribbean’s oldest colonial powers. Mosquito Empires is indispensable to any student of Caribbean history or the history of disease."
Mark Harrison, Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Oxford
"Who would have guessed that the mosquito played such a vital role, shaping the fate of empires and revolutions, in such a vitally important part of the world? This provocative book is an eye-opener, written with great verve and wit."
Philip Morgan, Johns Hopkins University
"For most of the last five centuries, the Atlantic empires – European and North American – wrested, fought wars, and killed thousands of citizens and slaves for possession of the wealth swaying in the fields of the Caribbean islands and coastlines. The dominant factors in the long conflict, no matter what the protagonists claimed, were not political or religious or even economic but septic, that is, the microbes of yellow fever and malaria. J. R. McNeill’s book is by far the clearest, best informed, and scientifically accurate of the accounts available on this sugary conflict."
Alfred W. Crosby, Professor Emeritus of History, Geography, and American Studies, University of Texas at Austin
"Drawing on an enormous documentary source base, culled from many archives and texts in several languages, and ranging effortlessly across military history and medical science, J. R. McNeill's book is a major achievement. Henceforth, histories of empire, warfare, and international relations that neglects the environmental context of the events they recount will be seriously deficient."
Gabriel Paquette, Times Literary Supplement
"… this is a truly impressive book that makes a major contribution to our understanding of the Greater Caribbean and beyond."
Matthew Mulcahy, William and Mary Quarterly
"McNeill's seminal and path-breaking new study will surely play a leading role in providing a clear historical understanding of colonization and its aftermath in a vast area of the Western Hemisphere."
American Historical Review
"This ambitious work is an enjoyable, convincing read. Highly recommended."
"… a valuable addition to the historiography of the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Caribbean."
Mariola Espinosa, Journal of Interdisciplinary History"… a welcome addition to maritime and imperial history."
Paul Webb, International Journal of Maritime History
"… a fine study that will be read and admired for generations to come."
Paul Kopperman, The Journal of Southern History
"In his compelling new book, J. R. McNeill asserts that over the course of two centuries historical events in the Americas shifted on tides of fevered sweat and black vomit."
Jennifer L. Anderson, European History Quarterly
"… gives a valuable framework for understanding the biology of colonization and independence in the Americas."
Lynn A. Nelson, Florida Historical Quarterly
"… a wonderful book, as fun to read as it is thought-provoking and informative."
Molly A. Warsh, Journal of World History