Epidemiology/Infectious Diseases (Bugs, bugs, bugs!)
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A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe (F)
The Plague Tales by Ann Benson (F)
Burning Road by Ann Benson (F)
Control of Communicable Diseases Manual (NF)
Biohazard: The Chilling True Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Program in the World--Told from Inside by Ken Alibek (NF)
The disease detectives: Deadly medical mysteries and the people who solved them by Gerald Astor (NF)
And the Waters Turned to Blood. The ultimate biological threat by Rodney Barker (Pfisteria, NF)
The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague In History by John M. Barry (NF)
In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World It Made by Norman F. Cantor (NF)
Disease and History by Frederick F. Cartwright (NF)
America's Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918 Alfred W. Crosby (NF)
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond (NF)
A Dictionary of Epidemiology by Howard Fast (Textbook NF)
Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82 by Elizabeth Anne Fenn (NF)
Fever!: The hunt for a new killer virus by John Grant Fuller (Lassa Fever, NF)
Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health by Laurie Garrett (NF)
The Coming Plague by Laurie Garrett (NF)
Anthrax: The Investigation of a Deadly Outbreak by Jeanne Guillemin (NF)
The great mortality : an intimate history of the Black Death, the most devastating plague of all time by John Kelly (NF)
Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It by Gina Kolata
Foundations of Epidemiology by David E. Lilienfeld (Textbook NF)
Plague Wars: The Terrifying Reality of Biological Warfare by Tom Mangold (NF)
Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC by Joseph M.D. McCormick (NF)
Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War by Judith Miller
Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir by Paul Monette (NF)
Boswell's Clap and Other Essays: Medical Analyses of Literary Men's Afflictions by William B. Ober (NF)
Virus Hunter: Thirty Years of Battling Hot Viruses Around the World by C.J. Peters (NF)
The Invisible Invaders: The Story of the Emerging Age of Viruses by Peter Radetsky
Virus Ground Zero: Stalking the Killer Viruses with the Centers for Disease Control by Ed Regis (NF)
The Virus Within: A Coming Epidemic by Nicholas Regush (Herpes, NF)
Deadly Feasts: Tracking The Secrets Of A Terrifying New Plague by Richard Rhodes (Prion disease, NF)
Dirt and disease : polio before FDR by Naomi Rogers (NF)
Rethinking Aids The Tragic Cost of Premature Consensus by Robert S. Root-Bernstein (NF)
The Cholera Years: The United States in 1832, 1849, and 1866 Charles E. Rosenberg (NF)
Modern Epidemiology by Kenneth J. Rothman (Textbook, NF)
The Medical Detectives (Plume) Berton Roueche (NF)
Eleven Blue Men and Other Narratives of Medical Detection by Berton Roueche (NF)
Virus X: Tracking the New Killer Plagues--Out of the Present & Into the Future by Frank Ryan (NF)
The Forgotten Plague: How the Battle Against Tuberculosis Was Won - And Lost by Frank Ryan
And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts (AIDS, NF)
Yellow fever in Galveston, Republic of Texas, 1839: An account of the great epidemic Ashbel Smith (NF)
Foodborne and Waterborne Diseases: Their Epidemiologic Characteristics by I. Jackson Tartakow (NF)
The Evolution of Infectious Disease by Paul Ewald (NF)
If anyone has read any of these, I'd love to hear what you thought of them. Also, what have I missed?
I've read about a dozen of your list, starting in grade school, when my favorite teacher got me started on the Roueches, beginning with Eleven Blue Men. I love them still.
Somewhat related to Boswell's Clap, there's a similar book on neurology called Toscanini's Fumble.
Fiction: one of my favorite books in the world is I am thinking of my darling, about the impact of a relatively benign epidemic that reaches New York City, and how the outbreak affects the functioning of the city. Highly recommended.
I had not heard of any you mention (now that I'm retired I don't hear of as many) and I still have a gift certificate . . .
It seems like it should be right up your alley. I've spent a career working in public health, but I'd love to hear what a real epidemiologist makes of it.
Oh, and if you liked the Bensons, you should certainly check out Connie Willis' Doomsday Book: a contemporary historian time-travels to 14th C England, but accidentally lands in the middle of the Black Death.
One book I picked up reccently and would like to know your opinion of is The River : A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS. I know this book is controversial and not accepted by very many scientists, but I have to read it for myself. I think many scientists are rejecting this theory to easily without looking at enough evidence. William Hamilton actually went to Africa to investigate the claim, but unfortunately died of malaria shortly after arriving.
So, I would love the opinion of an actual epidemiologist even though I haven't yet read the book.
Great list. Somewhat peripherally, I would recommend Carl Zimmer's Parasite Rex for an engaging, informal review of parasitism, parasites and the people that love them.
Of course, I'm a total layman in both history and epidemiology so experts may just enjoy tearing apart his conclusions.
I'm currently reading Ann Benson's fictional account of the world in our times after a pandemic of staph aureus and of the 14th century after the plague--a series, this one called The Physician's Tale.
I'm going to go searching on Ebay and on Overstock for some of these that you all have mentioned.
I also found The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS (which I would very much like to read because I was an HIV epidemiologist--unfortunately that one costs ninety-something dollars for a paperback copy and around $129 for a hardback, even on EBay, so I'm going to have to wait and try the library on that one. Or maybe the health department library.
There is a documentary film based on the book. I believe it is called The River as well. This may be easier and cheaper to get a hold of?
Anyhow the most recent book I've read on the subject was The Demon in the Freezer by Richard Preston about the eradication of smallpox and the ethics of continuing to keep stocks of it available; although the book also wanders over to ebola, too. It's written for the lay person, but scientifically I thot it was pretty accurate.
Thanks to As you know, Bob for pointing me here. I'm getting chills over that booklist. Thanks Sharonk21, you just gave me my Christmas wishlist.
Yellow Fever Black Goddess: The Coevolution of People and Plagues by Christopher Wills
The Kiss of Death: Chaga's Disease in the Americas
Plague Time: How Infections Cause Cancers, Heart Disease, and Other Deadly Ailments by Paul Ewald
The Archaeology of Disease by Charlotte Roberts and Keith Manchester
The Myth of Syphilis:The Natural History of Treponematosis in North America by Mary Lucas Powell and Della Collins Cook
The Columbian Exchange:Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492 by Alfred W. Crosby
Poisons of the Past: Molds, Epidemics, and History by Mary Kilbourne Matossian
Born to Die: Disease and New World Conquest, 1492-1650 by Noble David Cook
Secret Judgments of God : Old World Disease in Colonial Spanish America by Noble David Cook
A Pest In The Land:New World Epidemics in a Global Perspective by Suzanne Austin Alchon
Digging for Pathogens:Ancient Emerging Diseases - Their Evolutionary, Anthropological and Archaeological Context by Charles L. Greenblatt
Epidemics and History: Disease, Power and Imperialism by Sheldon Watts
Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900 by Alfred W. Crosby
The Black Death by Phillip Ziegler
The Great Plague in London in 1665 by Walter George Bell
Thanks for sharing your list!
I noticed your list did not include The Hot Zone--I found this a good quick read.
Have you found any good books discussing Mad Cow disease or prion diseases generally?
The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco by Marilyn Chase
Thank you all for all of your suggestions.
Johnnylogic, I did get Parasite Rex by Carl Zimmer and it really made an impression on me. Every so often, I would get creeped out enough to where I would have to stop reading. (Don't know why that is since I have long been used to thinking of myself as an ecosystem for various other critters). Nevetheless, he makes a convincing case for parasites actually BEING Rex, in an evolutionary sense.
Leel, sorry I disagree on Laurie Garrett. I was so entranced that I read every footnote!
AsYouKnow_Bob, I got the I Am Thinking of My Darling and liked it--but found the slightly flippant tone somewhat disconcerting. Guess I am used to the subject being treated with too much sober and portentious high drama. or as--TA DA--"Epidemiologist As Hero."
BarbN, I can't believe I left The Hot Zone off the list. Great catch.
Streamsong, I want to read that! (The Demon in the Freezer).
Joancos, Yes, The Ghost Map was a little bit low key considering the subject but still, I thought, well worth reading.
HMOKeefe, a thousand thanks for all those books you listed. I keep a list in Word of books I hope to get and those are going in it untouched.
I have some new ones to recommend also:
The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic that Shaped our History by Molly Caldwell Crosby. This covers mainly the great epidemic that killed 5,000 in Memphis TN plus Walter Reed's studies in Cuba.
BarbN--I just read The Family That Couldn't Sleep about a month ago. It is by D.T. Max and although it is mainly about prion disease inherited on a familial basis it also covers a lot of other things about prion disease.
Also just ordered David M. Oshinsky's Polio: An American Story.
It's certainly not as much of a downer as, say, another book about Marburg.
(Come to think of it, the McHugh was made into an even more flippant movie - with Mary Tyler Moore, no less - which I might have seen as a kid, but I don't have any real memories of that. Maybe I'll try to find a copy to watch it again.)
Edited to add: the 1968 MTM/George Peppard movie of the McHugh is called "What's So Bad About Feeling Good?", and doesn't seem to be currently available in any format.
Have also read two more in fiction by Ann Benson: The Physician's Tale and Thief of Souls.
Additionally, Ken Follett's World Without End--the second in his series of novels about a cathedral town in England treats the first coming of the plague to Europe.
And back to nonfiction: I meant to order Toscani's Fumble by Klawens and hit the wrong key and instead got his Newton's Madness. Enjoyed it though and still have the other one on my book wish list.
a few years ago a pharmaceutical company producing an antiinfluenza-substance distributed a novel where the Spanish flu played a major role.
It was about scientists / military trying to get at the virus that caused the Spanish flu in the early 20th century. To this end they unearthed some corpses that had died of the flu in some polar region - and had been buried (and frozen) in arctic/antarctic ice.
It was a fictional account, but very grippingly written.
Unfortunately when I was through reading I threw the copy away - and would like to reread it now :-)
Any idea what the title of the novel / author is?
Does anyone understand why when I try to make the books in the original list Touchstones, it freaks out and jumps around but doesn't load them or highlight them???? Driving me crazy--I went to all that trouble checking and putting brackets in and yet get only minor results. Grrrr.
Cnrenner--I can't think of any fiction with that plot but it sounds a lot like Gina Kolata's book on the flu.
Also, I just found a book that I picked up at Goodwill some time ago and forgot I had--so haven't read it yet. Man and Microbes: Disease and Plagues in History and Modern Times by Arno Karlen.
I loved The Coming Plague too. It was so informative and very easy for a layperson to understand.
I also saw the documentary called the River, that was mentioned at the start of the thread. It was very compelling about what went on with the vaccine and the camp where they kept the monkeys to use.
I saw it on cable on one of the independent film channels. It too is out of print I think. There were threats of lawsuits that frightened both the book and movie people away I think.
There is also a web site that shows various independent documentaries for free. You just have to sign up. It had the documentary too. Unfortunately I lost the url of the site, when my hard drive crashed a while ago.
Not sure if anyone mentioned Secret Agents: The Menace of Emerging Infections by Madeline Drexler, but that one is a great read. I also very much enjoyed The Great Influenza and Virus X. I recently enjoyed (and was very frightened by) Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government's Secret Plum Island Germ Laboratory.
That would be Contagion but it's not too friendly to epidemiologists . . . the hero was a pathologist, and the only epi person he dealt with was an obstacle. I wasn't really impressed.
I would add to the list of books Innumeracy and The Tipping Point for their usefulness in explaining some issues to laymen.
I found on-line a used copy of The River: A Journey Back to the source of HIV and Aids in the UK for a reasonable price. It took about a month for me to get it, because Alibris shipped it from London to Nevada and then to me in NH ?? I have not started it yet. Its about 1100 pages, so it will be a long time commitment.
I also found a web site about the issue that the author hosts.
It has the documentary that you can watch on-line.
Also, more recent is a section in Charles Mann's survey "1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus" on the epidemiologies of the major epidemics that surged across the Americas in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. (Including thoughts on the evolution of syphilis.) One intriguing recent finding with the increasing insights into DNA: there may have been a critical genetic gap in New World immigrant populations (an artifact of small-population founder effect) that left them especially vulnerable to epizootic-origin diseases like smallpox.
Read. This. Book.
i loved And the played on.
also a book. IN MY OWN COUNTRY by abraham verghese
anything by adam d(g)ershowitz. malaria capers especially.
www.webarchive.org - the wayback machine. theres an article on there about the plague in the 15th or 16th century.
There are abstracts on pubmed.gov retrieved by searching "sequencing Spanish influenza".
If I understand correctly, the DNA has been recovered from Alaskan permafrost preserved bodies, sequenced, and studied.
Science and history have overrun the fiction you are asking about.
As an informed layman I may have important details incorrect.
If you're going to be working with smallpox virus, I'd get re-vaccinated.
If you're writing a story with a character who has been vaccinated and gets exposed to smallpox, you could go either way. Results seem to vary by individual, so your character could be either protected or not, depending on the demands of your plot.
edited for punctuation
Of note however, is the impact which this book has had... many Middle Eastern countries, and even Indonesia have grasped on to Horowitzs' ravings and use them to resist important vaccine programs.
One fantastic book that I do recommend that I haven't seen mentioned yet is, "Justinian's Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe" by William Rosen.
A wonderful combo of epidemiology and ancient history.