- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
KLIATTRecent fears of biological warfare and the anthrax scare make this book especially relevant. By looking at six different scares, some real and some imagined, the author, a scholar in the field, describes historical epidemics and distinguishes those that posed a genuine health risk and those that combined with prejudices and misinformation to be more hype than reality. The political implications of disease are also reviewed within the context of each epidemic. The six epidemics are tuberculosis, still a threat today; bubonic plague in Chinatown, San Francisco, at the turn of the last century; trachoma, the eye disease that immigrants at Ellis Island feared because it kept them from entering the country; typhus and the riots and fear it engendered at the US/Mexico border in 1917; AIDS and Haitian immigrants in the 1990s; and the fear of a cholera outbreak in Detroit in 1997, connected with the arrival of African immigrants. In every case, these diseases and immigration were connected. Markel makes the case that as our world has become smaller the fear of epidemics has increased. "A clearly marked plan of explanation, tolerance, education and partnership" between health officials and victims must be established as our world becomes more and more interconnected. This is a scholarly work, with voluminous notes, but is written in an easy-to-read style. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004, Random House, Vintage, 263p. illus. notes. index., Ages 15 to adult.