The mosquito has determined the fates of empires and nations, razed and crippled economies, and decided the outcome of pivotal wars, killing nearly half of humanity along the way. Winegard tells the untold story of the mosquito’s reign through human history and her indelible impact on our modern world order.
Timothy C. Winegard's The Mosquito is as wildly entertaining as any epic narrative out there ... The Mosquito is an extremely well-researched work of narrative nonfiction that tells the story of the world through the lens of the role that mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses have played in it ... The writing is engaging, and Winegard masterfully weaves historical facts and science to offer a shocking, informative narrative that shows how who we are today is directly linked to the mosquito ... an outstanding book that reshapes our past under a new lens — and helps explain some baffling events ... chilling.
Winegard marches forward from antiquity to the modern day, showing how mosquitoes have repeatedly upended history ... Winegard isn’t afraid of sweeping explanations, but his enthusiasm sometimes gets the better of him ... Not every last event in history traces back to bugs ... Winegard’s enthusiasm trips up his prose sometimes, too ... Still, The Mosquito is one of those (compound-) eye-opening books that permanently shift your worldview. Every time I read about ancient battles from now on, I’ll always wonder how much credit the generals deserve and how much the mosquitoes do. This isn’t a flattering view of history — reducing our Great Men and Women to secondary roles. But it’s probably more accurate.
...[a] sprawling new book ...It turns out that, if you’re looking for them, the words 'mosquitoes,' 'fever,' 'ague,' and 'death' are repeated to the point of nausea throughout human history ... There’s a long tradition of history books that profess to explain the world through singular factors: salt or cod or the color blue. The Mosquito suffers from the necessary myopia of the genre (in addition to some florid writing, repetition, and digressions through blockbuster movies and the Western Civ highlight reel) ...[Wineguard's] argument that mosquitoes are responsible for the Magna Carta and, therefore, modern democracy is a cascade of contingencies ... Winegard doesn’t need these double-jointed reaches to persuade us of the hidden influence mosquitoes have had in shaping history and creating the world that we know today.