Disease & History: Third Edition
A newly revised edition of an established classic in the history of medicine.
Arising from collaboration between a doctor and a historian, Disease and History
offers the general reader a wide-
It reviews, for example, the impact made by bubonic plague and other infections upon
the ancient and medieval worlds; the likely role of syphilis in the careers of Henry
VIII and Ivan the Terrible; the significance of smallpox for the conquest of Mexico;
and the contribution of typhus to Napoleon’s downfall and of haemophilia to the collapse
of Tsarist rule in Russia. Other topics surveyed include the influence of tropical
diseases in the history of the colonization of Africa, and the global death-
The authors show how successive eras have registered some progress against pestilence, even while also experiencing confrontation with new and often unforeseen threats. Thus the final section of the book highlights how this field of history serves to illuminate many of the current problems now facing a world where disease – especially when combined with war, famine, and ecological recklessness – presents an ongoing challenge to human survival.
‘A study whose outstanding virtues are economy, clarity and readability.’
‘A welcome updating and careful revision of one of the pioneering accounts of the social history of medicine.’
Roy Porter, Professor of the Social History of Medicine, UCL
‘Fascinating and highly recommended.’