Hardcover , pages. Published July 15th by Palgrave Macmillan first published May 17th More Details Wellcome Book Prize Nominee for Shortlist Other Editions 5. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Angel of Death , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Oct 06, Ange rated it really liked it. Angel of Death covers a lot of territory - history, science, and the early days of medicine and surgery.
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It's a fascinating tale with a long list of characters, some well known ones such as Edward Jenner and John Hunter, and many less well known at least to me such as Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. I have read quite a lot of non- fiction books on the history of science such as those by well known authors like Lisa Jardine, Jared Diamond and co.
Williams covers a lot of the history of smallpox, and the many traditions surrounding traditional methods of variolation and then its gradual replacement with vaccination. The book covers a lot of the science of variolation and vaccination but I think it has a high level of accessibility for general readers. My own background is in science, including biochemistry, public health and a bit of infectious disease, so most of the concepts were familiar - but I think that any reader with an appreciation of detail and a love of history and science would find this an absorbing read. There are quite a number of illustrative plates, some are very confronting, but they indicate the horror of the disease that killed so many people over such a long period.
Importantly, the book also illustrates the incremental nature of scientific progress. Though vaccination showed great effectiveness at stalling smallpox outbreaks during the early days, there were numerous associated problems, some of which were studiously ignored by Jenner and others at the time. The latter part of the book deals with the campaign of the WHO to wipe out smallpox - I am sure there is the basis for a thrilling movie here - it was an enthralling end to the disease that had such terrible impact over the centuries.
History of smallpox - Wikipedia
Surprisingly readable and engaging book on a horrid subject. There is some repetition but I think that adds to clarity of the chapters. The authors interest shines through. Oct 30, Darryl rated it really liked it. Smallpox was successfully eliminated from the human population in , due to — and in spite of — the efforts of physicians, scientists, public officials and private citizens over the past four centuries to rid mankind of one of its greatest killers.
The variola virus now exists only in two research centers in the United States and Russia, and it is guarded with the utmost security, as smallpox remains an untreatable and often fatal infection, ready to unleash a reign of terror if it were ever Smallpox was successfully eliminated from the human population in , due to — and in spite of — the efforts of physicians, scientists, public officials and private citizens over the past four centuries to rid mankind of one of its greatest killers.
The variola virus now exists only in two research centers in the United States and Russia, and it is guarded with the utmost security, as smallpox remains an untreatable and often fatal infection, ready to unleash a reign of terror if it were ever to fall into the wrong hands. Gareth Williams, a professor of medicine at the University of Bristol, expertly and interestingly describes the history of smallpox from antiquity, when its telltale scars were found on Egyptian mummies, to the present day, where its legacy is most notable for the current anti-vaccination movement, particularly in the UK and United States.
The story of smallpox is intimately linked with the story of Western civilization and medicine. The study of smallpox was instrumental to the future understanding of microbes as the causative factor of many diseases such as tuberculosis, and the manner in which viruses infect human cells and convert them into virus making factories.
His book also gives original and engaging insights into the anti-vaccination campaigns which remain active today, and into the many unlearned lessons of smallpox. Review This Product No reviews yet - be the first to create one! Need help?
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Angel of Death - The Story of Smallpox (Hardcover)
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