Return of the Black Death: The World's Greatest Serial Killer

Christopher Duncan

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Return of the Black Death: The World's Greatest Serial Killer

Return of the Black Death The World s Greatest Serial Killer If the twenty first century seems an unlikely stage for the return of a th century killer the authors of Return of the Black Death argue that the plague which vanquished half of Europe has only l

  • Title: Return of the Black Death: The World's Greatest Serial Killer
  • Author: Christopher Duncan
  • ISBN: 9780470090015
  • Page: 479
  • Format: Paperback
  • If the twenty first century seems an unlikely stage for the return of a 14th century killer, the authors of Return of the Black Death argue that the plague, which vanquished half of Europe, has only lain dormant, waiting to emerge again perhaps, in another form At the heart of their chilling scenario is their contention that the plague was spread by direct human contacIf the twenty first century seems an unlikely stage for the return of a 14th century killer, the authors of Return of the Black Death argue that the plague, which vanquished half of Europe, has only lain dormant, waiting to emerge again perhaps, in another form At the heart of their chilling scenario is their contention that the plague was spread by direct human contact not from rat fleas and was, in fact, a virus perhaps similar to AIDS and Ebola Noting the periodic occurrence of plagues throughout history, the authors predict its inevitable re emergence sometime in the future, transformed by mass mobility and bioterrorism into an even devastating killer.

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      Published :2018-08-25T23:35:16+00:00

    One thought on “Return of the Black Death: The World's Greatest Serial Killer

    1. Karina on said:

      I think this would be an entertaining book even to people who haven't spent several happy hours playing Plague inc. Hugely recommended to anyone whose eyes brighten at the mention of, um, infectious pathogens.

    2. ☙ percy ❧ on said:

      well researched, well written, and scared the shit out of me. would recommend.

    3. Andrea Hickman Walker on said:

      I really enjoyed this. It was a fascinating look at what the Black Death really was and what that could mean for future epidemics. I thought that for a popular science book they had a nice balance between science and narrative. I could have done with a few more references, but I'll certainly be looking up the ones that they mentioned so as to better evaluate their argument.On the whole I found their argument well-presented, clear and convincing. I really do think it's a pity that popular science [...]

    4. Jen Pattison on said:

      This is a very good analysis that demolishes the idea that the Black Death was caused by fleas on rats. It may seem alarming that such an epidemic could happen again, but we do benefit from huge advances in medical science since the last visitations of plague in Britain in the 17th century.

    5. Jenifer on said:

      This book contains relatively few scientific references to support the authors' theory of a viral cause for the black death, and they discount the effects of pneumonic plague with little evidence for doing so. It lacks a clear narrative and the tone is rather self-congratulatory.

    6. Seanan on said:

      Best book about the Black Death ever. I want to hug it and love it and go on an epidemiological tour of Europe using it as a guide. The anthropological data is chilling and insightful.

    7. Karen Brooks on said:

      This started off as a fascinating and engaging read that while it lacked specific references, nonetheless drew on historic sources to present a case against the accepted fact that the Bubonic Plague is what raged through Europe, identified also as the Black Plague, for hundreds of years. Instead, the authors set out a persuasive hypothesis that the Bubonic Plague (which also gives rise to the Pneumonic one) is a different and less deadly disease than the horrific Haemorraghic (sp?) Plague. The b [...]

    8. Zach on said:

      An intriguing look at the Black Death and other emergent diseases and speculation on their return. Through detailed analysis of first-hand accounts, mostly from parish records, the authors lay out a conclusive case that the plague was not the rat-spread bubonic plague, as modern historians have claimed since the early 1900s, but a virus similar to Ebola spread directly from person to person. They also establish, again very convincingly, that this unknown virus had an incubation period of around [...]

    9. Tom on said:

      Scott and Duncan make a very strong yet lucid and readable case that the Black Death of the 14th century was not in fact a manifestation of Yersinia pestis, aka bubonic plague. The simple reason is that with the exception of buboes the medieval afflication does not at all resemble the bubonic plague known today. Details drawn from the habitats of rats and fleas as possible vectors and early modern autopsy accounts suggest strongly that it was rather some kind of hemorrhagic fever like Ebola or M [...]

    10. Marie A. on said:

      Medieval historian chiming in here: Not only was the Black Death not "a virus perhaps similar to AIDS and Ebola" (as the synopsis says); IT WAS NOT CAUSED BY A VIRUS, PERIOD. It's a bacterium (y. pestis, if anyone cares). Which means you can kill it with antibiotics. Which is what people do now during the periodic outbreaks that still occur.Yes, there have been the occasional theories that y. pestis was not responsible (typhus & ebola are two of the perennial favorites). None of them have pa [...]

    11. Gillian Bourassa on said:

      The first 100 or so pages were dreadfully boring. I can see how that information was necessary for the authors to compile in their research, but they could have spent less time recounting it and moved quicker to the more interesting part of their analysis--a biology and epidemiology-based challenge to conventional historical understanding of the Black Death and subsequent plagues. Their argument makes complete sense, and I hope to incorporate this info the next time I talk about the Black Death [...]

    12. Lolo Yo on said:

      An astonishing account of detective work and history, cleverly informing the public without a preventative medicine background. Non-fiction that reads as a science fiction thriller. Includes all the details of how a disease comes into the human population even, when something of its kind never existed. Very quick read, completed in 1 1/2 days. Page turner that was not put down until falling asleep with the sun rising.

    13. Andrew Bennett on said:

      I really, really liked the fresh take on the Black Death and preceding plagues such as the Justinian. Their evidence points 100% that these were caused by a virus instead of Yesenia PestisThe final chapter on the scenarios if one of these viruses were to attack today is haunting; if civilization is to survive something like the Black Death I am afraid that we will have to resort to draconian measures

    14. Jacqui on said:

      a fascinating--and scary--idea regarding the Black Death. Was it Bubonic Plague or a hemorrhagic, viral epidemic that has still not been identified? Sue Scott and Christopher Duncan make a good case for it gotta wonder if they're right.

    15. Tric on said:

      I really enjoyed this book, and I think the authors presented their case very well.I found the last chapter, however, to be kind of filler and I think the book would have been stronger if they had dropped it.

    16. Preston Isom on said:

      An eye-opening and compelling epidemiology study of what really happened in Europe between 1347 and 1670.

    17. Madeleine McLaughlin on said:

      Wonderful book about the author's theory that the Black Death was not bubonic plague. Very important to ask these questions and well worth a read.

    18. Brent Cope on said:

      A great read detailing the history and epidemiology of the black death. The authors present an excellent case the disease in question was not bubonic plague but viral hemorrhagic fever.

    19. Grumpylibrarian on said:

      Super dull. And for a book with subject matter as fascinating as the plague, that's a pretty dire situation.

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