Author: Sonia Shah
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Summary: I couldn’t ask for more than from my nonfiction than this engagingly told story with its mix of history, science, and important predictions about the future of medicine.
Although every pandemic seems uniquely and surprisingly deadly, there are some common principles that can be learned from our past. Using cholera as a case study, Sonia Shah describes some of the factors that can lead to pandemics. She also explores how those factors have changed or stayed the same over time and describes some of the challenges that might face us when the next pandemic strikes.
I enjoyed everything about this book. I love learning about science and history and this was a great mix of both. The author’s choice to organize this book with one topic per chapter and with a focus on one specific disease as an example was inspired. It made the discussion of factors that contribute to pandemics more than hypothetical. She also didn’t hesitate to bring in discussions of other diseases and her personal experiences when they helped make a point, so the focus on cholera wasn’t limiting. The book seemed well cited (I didn’t vet her sources, but there were citations where I felt they were needed) and I was impressed by the author’s expertise.
My only possible complaint is that I wish this book were longer and that’s not because I feel it was lacking in any way. I just would have liked to read more! The book was engaging and covered topics in science and history that are of great interest to me. Despite the focus on possible future pandemics and the frightening nature of some of the information the book contained, the author didn’t come across as a fearmonger. I enjoyed learning a lot of fun facts, but also information I think everyone should be aware of about the way pandemics arise. If this topic at all appeals to you, I’d recommend picking this up.
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