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Emerging Infectious Diseases and Society


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Table of Contents

Factors in the Emergence of Infectious Diseases The Conquest of Infectious Disease AIDS and the End of the Golden Age of Medicine Modernity, Globalization and Emerging Infectious Diseases Mad Cows, Modern Plagues and Superbugs Dirt, Germs and the Immune System The Bioterrorism Myth Emerging Infectious Diseases, Security and Global Poverty References

About the Author

PETER WASHER has taught at University College, London and Imperial College, London, UK. His research interests are in representations of infectious diseases. He is editor of Clinical Communication Skills (Oxford University Press).


Shortlisted for the BSA Sociology of Health and Illness Book Prize 2011

'A meticulous dissection of the threats from infectious disease, and our responses to them. The book offers an unusually clear account of how perception of biological reality is shaped by society and culture. Essential reading for plotting the territory between panic and pandemic.' - Jon Turney, Author of The Rough Guide to the Future

'Emerging Infectious Diseases and Society is an engrossing account of the historical underpinnings of the idea of emerging disease, and a trenchant dissection of the ways in which it is put to social and political use today. Washer writes in clear, even-handed language that makes the book rewarding reading for the public and professionals alike. He masterfully translates complicated scientific debates to reveal the deeply embedded fears, myths and misconceptions that characterize contemporary thinking about infectious disease. Along the way he deftly unmasks what they tell us about contemporary global social and political relationships.' Professor D. Ann Herring, McMaster University, Canada

'This informative, crystal clear book charts the rise of the Emerging Infectious Diseases discipline in the context of political, social and cultural forces. It contains a particularly wonderful and original chapter on the role played by the dirt, germs and the immune system in conceptualisations of Emerging Infectious Diseases.' - Dr Helene Joffe, Division of Psychology, UCL, UK

'The incidence of infectious diseases has increased in the past two decades with a threat of further increase in the future...The present volume is a social chronicle of the cultural, political and historical context in which this new public health threat emerged. This is an erudite, informative, and insightful small book on how it all happened.' - Choice Magazine

'In Emerging Infectious Diseases and Society, Peter Washer tells a very simple yet effective story of how emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases have plagued society throughout the ages...The simple use of language combined with the logical flow of information in this book makes it an interesting read for specialists and the public alike.' - The Lancet

'This book should be read by anybody with an interest in emerging infectious diseases, but also by those interested in how science and society are interwoven in the modern world. It should be required reading for people carrying out research in various fields related to the sociology of health and illness.' - Sociology of Health & Illness

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