Six Modern Plagues and How We Are Causing Them
5.5 x 8.25
5.5 x 8.25
West Nile Virus—Mad Cow Disease—HIV/AIDS—Hantavirus—Lyme Disease ... and a new strain of Salmonella. Such modern epidemics have emerged over the past few decades as mysterious, yet significant risks to human health. These "plagues" are forcing us to modify our lifestyles in ways that minimize our chances of becoming a statistic in the latest tally of the afflicted.
In Six Modern Plagues, Mark Jerome Walters offers us the first book for the general reader that connects these emerging health risks and their ecological origins. Drawing on new research, interviews, and his own investigations, Mark Jerome Walters weaves together a compelling argument: that changes humans have made to the environment, from warming the climate to clearing the forests, have contributed to, if not caused a rising tide of diseases that are afflicting humans and many other species.
According to Mark Jerome Walters, humans are not always innocent bystanders to infectious disease. To the contrary, in the case of many modern epidemics, we are the instigators. Six Modern Plagues, a ground-breaking introduction to the connection between disease and environmental degradation should be read by all those interested in their health and the health of others.
"In a clear, engaging style, Dr. Walters tells the tale of each disease like a detective story. He allows each mystery to unfold as it did in reality, often slowly, through the lives of the plants and animals involved, the first human victims, the government officials who tried to respond, and the scientists who ultimately explained what was happening."
New York Times
"Refreshingly, this latest book explores the underlying shifts in human ecology and behavior that have potentiated recent epidemics . . .Walters achieves a balance between environmental science, clinical medicine, human interest, and social comment."
"[A] particularly fascinating and readable look at the situation . . . [A] great introduction to the topic."
"Six Modern Plagues and How We Are Causing Them is a fascinating work of ecological journalism, utterly convincing in its argument: that our health and the health of the environment are intimately linked, and we overlook that link at our peril."
Michael Pollan, author of "Second Nature" and "The Botany of Desire"
"Mark Walters weaves a fine thread of human disturbances through the quilt work of modern pandemics. After being drawn engagingly into the explosive symptoms of global environmental change, readers will come to understand that we have no choice but to make peace with nature."
Paul R. Epstein, M.D., M.P.H., Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School
Chapter 1. The Dark Side of Progress: Mad Cow Disease
Chapter 2. A Chimp Called Amandine: HIV/AIDS
Chapter 3. The Travels of Antibiotic Resistance: Salmonella DT104
Chapter 4. Of Old Growth and Arthritis: Lyme Disease
Chapter 5. A Spring to Die For: Hantavirus
Chapter 6. A Virus from the Nile
Epilogue: SARS and Beyond
Six Modern Plagues won first place in the 2004 Independent Publisher's Award's Health/Medicine/Nutrition category and was a finalist for the Benjamin Franklin Award in the Science/Environment category. It also won Gold in Foreword Book Award's 2003 health category.