Viruses, Plagues, and History: Past, Present and Future

Viruses, Plagues, and History: Past, Present and Future

Michael B.A. Oldstone / Oct 16, 2019

Viruses Plagues and History Past Present and Future The story of viruses and humanity is a story of fear and ignorance of grief and heartbreak and of great bravery and sacrifice Michael Oldstone tells all these stories as he illuminates the history o

  • Title: Viruses, Plagues, and History: Past, Present and Future
  • Author: Michael B.A. Oldstone
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 416
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • The story of viruses and humanity is a story of fear and ignorance, of grief and heartbreak, and of great bravery and sacrifice Michael Oldstone tells all these stories as he illuminates the history of the devastating diseases that have tormented humanity, focusing mostly on the most famous viruses Oldstone begins with smallpox, polio, and measles Nearly 300 million peThe story of viruses and humanity is a story of fear and ignorance, of grief and heartbreak, and of great bravery and sacrifice Michael Oldstone tells all these stories as he illuminates the history of the devastating diseases that have tormented humanity, focusing mostly on the most famous viruses Oldstone begins with smallpox, polio, and measles Nearly 300 million people were killed by smallpox in this century alone and the author presents a vivid account of the long campaign to eradicate this lethal killer Oldstone then describes the fascinating viruses that have captured headlines in recent years Ebola, Hantavirus, mad cow disease a frightening illness made worse by government mishandling and secrecy , and, of course, AIDS And he tells us of the many scientists watching and waiting even now for the next great plague, monitoring influenza strains to see whether the deadly variant from 1918 a viral strain that killed over 20 million people in 1918 1919 will make a comeback For this revised edition, Oldstone includes discussions of new viruses like SARS, bird flu, virally caused cancers, chronic wasting disease, and West Nile, and fully updates the original text with new findings on particular viruses Viruses, Plagues, and History paints a sweeping portrait of humanity s long standing conflict with our unseen viral enemies Oldstone s book is a vivid history of a fascinating field, and a highly reliable dispatch from an eminent researcher on the front line of this ongoing campaign.

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    About "Michael B.A. Oldstone"

      • Michael B.A. Oldstone

        Michael B.A. Oldstone Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Viruses, Plagues, and History: Past, Present and Future book, this is one of the most wanted Michael B.A. Oldstone author readers around the world.


    729 Comments

    1. This is an educational book through-and-through. Yes, it’s true that I read a lot of what can be considered “educational” or popular science. I like science and its various branches (chemistry, physics, biology, cosmology, etc.) and math. I also like history and medicine. The author references more than one book that I remember reading when I was young and aspirations ruled the universe. For example, “The Microbe Hunters” by Paul de Kruif or books about Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur. ( [...]


    2. I really enjoyed this book. It gave interesting insights into the world of viruses and their history. I have always been an advocate for vaccinations and this book helped to solidify my opinion. I really get disheartened when people say that they are not going to vaccinate because their immune system is strong enough to combat diseases or that vaccines make the immune response of the body weak. Vaccines are the only thing keeping the planet protected from horrible pandemics that have frequently [...]


    3. Very well-written, for a scientist. Though there were some very unreadable passages, these were not a distraction, but only made the reader want to challenge himself to read and comprehend, which I didn't completely succeed at. Very exact and detailed in the history of the illnesses; very comprehensive, yet specific; very scary in its descriptions and predictions. I read this for research for an as-yet-untitled novel about plagues or viruses.


    4. Oldstone certainly has a command of the science, and he writes clearly. It's a good survey of various viruses, in that sense. But a few things stand out that prevent me from recommending this book:1. The book repeats itself constantly, even in the same section. It could have used a more assertive editor.2. I could have done with a bit less scientific triumphalism and moralizing. I know, vaccine-deniers are horrible (they are). But it just got to be a little much, and it sort of drowned out the s [...]


    5. Fascinating topic, very detailed analysis as well; this book was stuffed to the brim with information on all aspects of a wide variety of subjects, giving many examples and backing them up with references. For the most part, this book was a great read; there were some sections that dragged a bit and were a little difficult to plow through for the more casual reader. For a casual reader, this book provides a great opportunity to learn about the broad strokes made by viruses and plagues throughout [...]


    6. this book examines viruses such as yellow fever, measles and polio which have been eradicated or nearly so. It examines how these viruses changed history and how viruses such as AIDS and how a flu epidemic may change history. It has a few chapters dedicated to viruses, how they form, what they do to the body, etc. Those chapters were a bit repetative, and overall I was left relieved I had finished the book. It was an OK read, but a bit to heavy and out-of-date for me.


    7. Ever wondered about measles, polio, yellow fever, ebola, lassa fever, hanta, or H1N1? This is the book to read. Accessible to readers of most levels though it does get a somewhat technical with viral natural history but still very interesting and kind'a scary! Ignorance is bliss but I don't think I want to be part of that group.


    8. This is one of the best books I've read on the subject of viruses. It covers the major viral outbreaks in recent history, including the 1918 - 1919 influenza epidemic and HIV. Concise and intelligently written this is an informative and enjoyable read.


    9. Nothing I hadn't read before - Jared Diamond used the same logic - but there was an interesting section at the end, about present and future challenges.


    10. I used a textbook co-authored by Oldstone in my college classes, so I shouldn't have been surprised at the boring academic tone of this book. Oldstone just couldn't wean himself from his scientific writing expertise. Even though I know a fair amount about the topics he addresses in this book, I found it turgid, boring and in places not exactly accurate. I also was surprised at the amount of hero worship he demonstrates for some scientists, with a complete lack of critical view (Bob Gallo and HIV [...]


    11. This was not my favorite general pathology book. It really wasn't very memorable. It's a little outdated. To be fair, I've studied/read about a lot of this stuff already. Still, that's because I find it fascinating and this book wasn't fascinating. It was really too short to explore everything the title suggests. If you're looking for a slightly out of date, but extraordinarily interesting pathology book, I recommend "The coming plague" instead. Good stuff there and even though some of the knowl [...]


    12. A good book, but not great. The book was pretty informative overall. It start with what seemed such promising beginning. However, I quickly discovered the dryness of Oldstone's prose—I was continually thirsty throughout. It just was not a gripping narative. For example: Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen.


    13. I picked up this book for a quarter at the library sale. While there were pages of dry, technical boring stuff in every chapter, there was also lots of interesting stuff in every chapter. Each chapter was a different disease, like smallpox, polio, yellow fever, hanta virus, measles etc. I learned a lot, and it's also sort of scary, though virus hunters are still working on cures.


    14. solid descriptions of the histories and fights against "old world" diseases, but the emerging infection info is a little sparse (understandable for an older book). this is definitely not a pop sci read, but if you're very interested in the topic it's worth a shot. be warned - it's dense. not really for the casual reader, i think, but if you're into virology or public health overall, go ahead.


    15. this was a fascinating book, but VERY poorly edited. i would have given it four stars if it weren't for the crap editing. and, of course, the book is 10 years old, so some of the information was out of dateever, it was still a good read for someone as intrigued by infectious disease as i am.


    16. This book discusses several very interesting subjects. It would have gotten four stars except that, as it is over ten years old, some of the information is out of date. It's still worth reading if the subject matter interests you.


    17. Ultimately unsatisfying, due to a style that doesn't achieve the excitement of The Microbe Hunters (as the author had attempted, based on his own words in the intro), and in fact doesn't really do much in terms of the history or the science.


    18. Not bad, lots of history, but not always dates when you want them. And so out of date they were still arguing over prion vs. virus for CFJ/Mad Cow. Interesting without bogging down, but there are now much more up-to-date books out there.


    19. Interesting read gives a summary of how the immune system works and how we have discovered/combated diseases like small pox, yellow fever, polio, measles too bad anti-vaxxers are making some of these come back.


    20. This was a pretty well-written book on some of the major infectious diseases we've had/have and how we've conquered them. I thought it was a neat book, and it made me feel better about vaccinating my kids.


    21. Basic info on viruses, what they are, how they infect. Also includes brief histories of diseases we've eradicated or severely limited (smallpox, measles, polio) and recently emergent viruses (AIDS, Ebola, Lassa, Hanta). Good if you're looking for a quick overview.


    22. The key problem is that this author is a bad writer that's it. The material is fascinating but his delivery is abysmal and for that the reader suffers through 342 repetitive, confusing pages.


    23. Interesting booka tad outdated on the modern viruses because so much has been learned since the book was published in 1988.


    24. The notions of virology and immunology whith a extense history an description of the anciet plagues:smallpox,yelow fever,measles,poliomieliytis and emerging diseases



    25. terrifying to learn how a virus can be mass-spread so easily through mass-transportation and 21st century travel


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