Diseases and Human Evolution

  • by Ethne Barnes
  • Narrated by J. D. Smith Jr.
  • 18 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Recent interest in new diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and Ebola, and the resurgence of older diseases like tuberculosis has fostered questions about the history of human infectious diseases. How did they evolve? Where did they originate? What natural factors have stalled the progression of diseases or made them possible? How does a microorganism become a pathogen? How have infectious diseases changed through time? What can we do to control their occurrence?
Ethne Barnes offers answers to these questions, using information from history and medicine as well as from anthropology. She focuses on changes in the patterns of human behavior through cultural evolution and how they have affected the development of human diseases.
In a clear, lively style, Barnes offers general overviews of every variety of disease and their carriers, from insects and worms through rodent vectors to household pets and farm animals. She devotes whole chapters to major infectious diseases such as leprosy, syphilis, smallpox, and influenza. Other chapters concentrate on categories of diseases ("gut bugs", for example, including cholera, typhus, and salmonella). The final chapters cover diseases that have made headlines in recent years, among them mad cow disease, West Nile virus, and Lyme disease.
In the tradition of Berton Roueché, Hans Zinsser, and Sherwin Nuland, Ethne Barnes answers questions you never knew you had about the germs that have threatened us throughout human history.
The book is published by University of New Mexico Press.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great content, truly terrible performance

The subject matter and writing are great, but the reader sounds like the digitized monotone of your GPS. It's actually very difficult to listen to, and whomever selected this particular gentleman to read has done the author a terrible disservice. Recommend listening to a sample to see if you can get past the dreadful narration before committing to the purchase.
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- Megan

Boring and difficult to understand

This is a topic for which I am interested, and one in which I have listened to extensively. Unfortunately, this audio book did not deliver. The text is very technical, making it dry. And the reader sounds like he has cotton balls in his mouth. Very distracting. Overall, my recommendation is to skip this one.
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- Jon M. Wilson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-30-2015
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks