Recommended Readings

For Further Reading, I Recommend:

Subject Reading Comments
Typhoid Mary Typhoid Mary: Captive to the Public’s Health by Judith Walzer Leavitt. Beacon Press, Boston MA 1996 Great story about the real woman, told from several different perspctives: legal, medical, personal, journalistic, etc.
Cholera Snow on Cholera by John Snow. The Commonwealth Fund, New York 1936 (reprinted from 1855) The original story of how Dr. Snow discovered that Cholera is transmitted by contaminated water.
Death in Hamburg by Richard J. Evans. Viking Penguin Books, New York 1987 A study of the epidemic of 1892. The role of politics, greed, and capitalism in this epidemic. The parallels with Reaganomics and AIDS are hard to miss.
Tuberculosis Tuberculosis: Pathogenesis, Protection, and Control by Barry Bloom. ASM Press 1994 (especially chapters 1-4 ) The book has much too much detail in general, but a few of the chapters are general enough to give some very useful information
Bacteriology Microbe Hunters by Paul deKruif. Harvest Books (Harcourt Brace) 1926 A classic that reveals the dramatic discoveries of early microbiology, and highlights the personalities as well as science of Koch and Pasteur. It is the story of the war against disease — a war that is being waged with renewed vigor even today
Influenza America’s Forgotten Pandemic: the Influenza of 1918 by Alfted W. Crosby. Cambridge Univ. Press. 1989 An excellent account of the influenza pandemic of 1918/1919 that killed 20-40 million people and then disappeared without a trace.
Syphilis No Magic Bullet by Allan M. Brandt. Oxford University Press, New York. 1987 A thorough study of the politics, biology, and moral issues of Syphilis. It is hard not to see the parallels with AIDS a century later — even down to the use of phrases like “family values.” Dry reading, but worth it.
Bad Blood by James H. Jones. Free Press. 1993 A balanced view of the infamous “Tuskeegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male.” It does not shrink from the criminal aspects of this study, but neither does it get caught up in witch hunting — it shows how a noble program went bad.
AIDS AIDS Update 2003 by Gerald J. Stine. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ. 2002 Everything you ever wanted to know about AIDS. updated every year with the latest data. It is not a medical text, but can be read by almost anyone. More detail than the course requires, but still good.
The Slow Plague by Peter Gould. Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge MA. 1993 A geographer’s view of the pandemic. How it spread, how that information can help predict and control the spread. A bit dated, Tinderbox has a better story.
And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts. Penguin Press, New York. 1988 Somewhat dated history of the first five years of the AIDS epidemic in the USA and the political inaction that exacerbated the effects. Lots of Heroes and Villians here. A good read; hard to put it down!
Tinderbox by Craig Timberg and Daniel Halperin. Penguin Books 2012 An excellent description of where HIV came from and how it became an epidemic and then a pandemic. Very readable and informative.
Mad Cow Disease Deadly Feasts by Richard Rhodes. Touchstone Books, 1998 The “prion” story. The kuru epidemic among New Guinea cannibals, the differing scientific styles of Geidushek and Pruisner, and the real or imagined danger of a similar outbreak in the US food supply are central issues. Both realistic and frightening
Emerging Viruses Hot Zone by Richard Preston.Doubleday, New York. 1995 Fact that is more frightening than fiction. An outbreak of ebola that could have been very serious, but for a lucky break.
Global History 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus An eye-opening account of what the Americas were like before the arrival of Columbus.  The myth of primitive peoples is replaced with a view of a highly sophisticated society.  It also points out that contact with European diseases may have reduced the population by as much as 90% even before the arrival of Columbus.  Fascinating reading and relatively easy reading as well.
Plagues and Peoples by William McNeill. Doubleday, New York. 1976 The effect of endemic and epidemic disease on the march of history, all viewed from an ecological perspective. The first good overview from this viewpoint.
Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. W. W. Norton & Co. 1999. Why did modern civilization flourish in the Old World rather than the New? Why in Eurasia rather than Africa? A modern view of the role of resources and disease in defining patterns of historical development. An apt successor to McNeill’s book.