Germs, Genes, & Civilization: How Epidemics Shaped Who We Are Today

  • by David P. Clark
  • Narrated by Summer McStravick
  • 8 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The stunning, hidden interconnections between microbes and humanity.
AD 452: Attila the Hun stands ready to sack Rome. No one can stop him - but he walks away. A miracle? No... dysentery. Microbes saved the Roman Empire. Nearly a millennium later, the microbes of the Black Death ended the Middle Ages, making possible the Renaissance, Western democracy, and the scientific revolution. Soon after, microbes ravaged the Americas, paving the way for their European conquest.
Again and again, microbes have shaped our health, our genetics, our history, our culture, our politics, even our religion and ethics. This book reveals much that scientists and cultural historians have learned about the pervasive interconnections between infectious microbes and humans. It also considers what our ongoing fundamental relationship with infectious microbes might mean for the future of the human species.

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What the Critics Say

"With wit and humor, the author turns death, an ever-heavy topic, into an engrossing exploration of the course of mankind." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Amazing Introduction!

This book is an excellent introduction regarding genetics and DNA. It is fairly long, approximately 7 hours or so, and at times can be a little dry. Overall though I have not seen any works that do a better job at introducing the basic principles of genetics and applying real life examples. To date I have listened to it twice and will likely listen to it more down the road.
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- Tyler "I've been a member here for a few years now. Nothing will ever replace printed books for me, but I do enjoy lots of things Audible has!"

Thouroughly enjoyable

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Highly recommended, a clear eyed view of historical events highlighting the role of infections in shaping them. Spanning from early history to recent events.


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- Riz "PSC"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-09-2011
  • Publisher: Pearson