Review – Murderous Contagion

Posted November 16, 2020 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of Murderous Contagion: A human history of disease by Mary DobsonMurderous Contagion: A Human History of Disease, Mary Dobson

I’d expected this to be right up my alley, but in the end, it was too general to really serve up the kind of titbits I’m looking for. Each chapter is a pretty high-level summary of the disease, its effects, its place in history and the current state of affairs, and though here and there some snippets were new to me, on the whole it just wasn’t deep enough for me. There’s some sourcing and recommended further reading, which is worth digging into, but it’s very much a layperson’s book.

As a layperson’s book, because of course I’m not a layperson in this field, it’s a pretty good overview of some very important diseases. The section on SARS and MERS is, well, not prophetic, but an intelligent person mentioning a warning they were aware of which we should all have heeded. The information in the book, as far as my own knowledge goes, is correct and interesting, though I wondered now and then if some things might be apocryphal (Albert Szent-Györgyi calling vitamin C “godnose”, for example).

I think the writing style might be a bit dry at times, though. I can’t tell if I thought so because so little of the information was new, or whether it was genuinely boring.

Rating: 2/5

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