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4.8 out of 5 stars20
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 28 June 1998
Having worked with and met several of the scientists portrayed in this book, I have to say that it is the best recount of scientific endeavor I have ever read. It is a sober and cogent account of what any doctor worth the paper their degree is printed on knows--viruses and bugs mutate, and there is always a lag time between what we fall prey to and what we can cure. Her accounts of African plagues and domestic epidemics are both history and warning, and we should put aside labels like "liberal" and "anti-male" (the one irrelevant and the other ridiculous) to focus on the frightening prospect of a new black death, or a mutated HIV virus that spreads by airborne pathogen. It is absolutely possible, and no one should pass up the chance to read this book and inform themselves of the risks they and their children face.
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on 10 October 1997
Laurie Garrett has penned a striking compilation of just a few of the incredible number of infectious diseases that stand at the ready to strike down humankind the moment that we let our guard down. Earlier this century, medicine and science declared the infectious diseases beaten and abandoned work on them in favor of chronic conditions such as cancer. As a result, we now have the AIDS pandemic, hemmorhagic fever diseases throughout the world, etc. Ms. Garrett sounds a warning that can be understand and heeded by both the layman and the trained scientist. I credit her with my decision to pursue a career in public health.
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on 7 March 1999
I stumbled upon this book while buying books for my biochemist studies. After finishing this book I had to look on my studies from a whole new perspective. Garrett confirms the worst fears I had about this worlds dealing with diseases, presented like short stories and intelligent points. Read it, be scared, but also a whole lot wiser!
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on 16 September 2014
Rating first: Four and a half would have been a better rating, I don't love it, but certainly more that just 'like it'.

I bought this book for my wife while she was finishing her Med School training. She had a stint in southern Africa and came back with tales of a nasty disease, which had, relatively recently, killed a number of people in Gabon and South Africa. Not being medically trained, I wanted to find out more for myself. This book was recommended to me and I dived in. It's fascinating and very well written.

It's a weighty tome and anyone wishing to discover potential sources for the demise of humans, or simply with an interest in understanding complex conditions, will need to be dedicated. It's not a book to glance at every now and again. It's a thriller and one which is difficult to put down, however, I'd suggest one disease at a time. The rewards are well worth the effort; you will discover a new level of appreciation.

Today, it seems even more relevant than it did almost 20 years ago.
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on 6 June 2001
I hold this book solely responsible for the fact I'm now doing a virology degree. It is well-researched, accesible, and painfully prophetic. If you have even a passing interest in medicine, you should read this.
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on 5 February 2013
Could do with an update - finishes in the middle of the 1990s and I'm sure that there are a lot more nasty things that could be reported on, which would at least give my nightmares some much needed variety.
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Laurie Garret is an excellent writer, who can mix scientific facts and captivating storylines with remarkable skill. In spite of lot of scientific information her books reads almost like thrillers. Very fascinating reading indeed! I previously read her Betrayal of trust and very much liked it. Highly recommend both books !
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on 3 May 2013
I purchased the book after reading reviews and highly recommend it to others interested in this field. I think it's suitable for novice readers and experts alike, as it's so well written. The chapter on the coming of HIV is gripping and it's hard to put the book down at times.
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on 23 November 2012
Pleased with this purchase, good second hand quality as described and arrived in expected time. The book itself is very detailed and absorbing, it has a lot of scientific information but is not too difficult for the layman to understand.
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on 16 April 1997
If you have ever been interested in learning about virues of all kinds this is a great starter book. It is very easy to read without a lot of medical terms. Garret takes the reader to the exact location of the outbreak and takes you step by step through the lives of the men and women who are desperatly trying to rid the world of these terrifying diseases. Garrett also goes into great detail of the workings of the different virus' on the human body, she is not afraid to tell it like it is and the describtion, albeit sometimes hard to read, are very informative. I would recomend this book to any one who is interested in learning about the workings of "emerging virus' in a world out of balance."
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