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Contagion: How Commerce Has Spread Disease by [Harrison, Mark]
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Contagion: How Commerce Has Spread Disease Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 427 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled

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'Mark Harrison's fascinating and thoroughly researched study traces the connections between trade and infectious diseases, exploring the diplomatic and political ramifications of quarantine and other measures taken to limit the spread of disease. It shows that such measures could be applied competitively for economic gain, as well as for prevention. A discussion of the impact of globalisation brings the subject entirely up to date. The book provides a complete and satisfying account of a complex series of issues, which have not been tackled so comprehensively before.'--Stephen Porter, author of "The Great Plague "--Stephen Porter

'Mankind has for millennia conveyed trade goods over vast distances, and along with them, deadly pathogens. Understanding the resultant epidemics and, critically, the response to them requires a mastery of pathophysiology, propulsion technology, and political economy, and "Contagion" seamlessly synthesizes all three. This compact, compelling volume is essential reading for the concerned citizen of an increasingly connected, interdependent, and vulnerable planet.'--William J. Bernstein, author of "A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World"--William Bernstein

'Mark Harrison brings unrivalled expertise as a medical historian to his masterly account of how contagion and commerce have marched ahead together over the centuries. He shows that the weapons we use against the spread of infection have grown ever more sophisticated without becoming any more effective. Far from protecting mankind in general, they have often been manipulated to give extra advantage to rich over poor nations. This is genuinely global history, powerful and provocative, and a work of remarkable range and originality.'--Paul Slack, author of "From Reformation to Improvement: Public Welfare in Early Modern England"--Paul Slack

"A book of impressive range and originality, well researched and well written."--Michael Worboys, co-author of "Mad Dogs and Englishmen: Rabies in Britain, 1830-2000"--MIchael Worboys

About the Author

Mark Harrison is professor of the history of medicine and director of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Oxford. His previous books include Medicine and Victory: British Military Medicine in the Second World War and The Medical War: British Military Medicine in the First World War, for each of which he was awarded the Templer Medal. He lives in Oxford, UK.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3392 KB
  • Print Length: 427 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (8 Jan. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00942HO0E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #946,920 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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By focusing on the complex interactions in recent centuries between the trading of goods and epidemic disease the author charts the tortuous history of Public Health policies to curb the spread of pestilent disease.Quarantine was first introduced in Europe by the Republic of Ragusa in 1397, in order to detain incoming suspected ships up to forty days and was soon to be followed by other maritime powers .The spread of epidemics started to be blamed by the public as well as governments and the medical elite on the traders bringing merchandise from pestilent overseas sources.Powerful commercial interests however wielded political pressure on the Authorities to lift or mitigate the impact of quarantines because of the losses incurred. Imperial and commercial rivalries led to differences in approach regarding the length of quarantine and the degree of liberalisation of restrictive sanitary precautions.Sanitary embargoes were often used as instruments of trade war.Powerful nations like the US in the Western hemisphere took coercive arbitrary steps to impose sanitary measures in South American and Caribbean countries.Similar attitudes prevailed amongst the European imperial powers in the Middle East,India and China that often caused considerable unrest and resentment.

Growing opposition to stringent quarantine practices in Europe were not only voiced by the merchants but also by humanitarian reformers and medical practitioners as they were considered outmoded and even barbaric defences against disease.Medical opinion in the pre microbial scientific era was divided and disputes raged between the different proponents and opponents of the contagious nature of diseases and their mode of transmission.
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