For 4,000 years, the size and vitality of cities, economies, and empires were heavily determined by infection. Climate and population fluctuations and aspects of prosperity such as global trade have left people more vulnerable than ever to newly emerging plagues.
Although daunting in earlier chapters, overall Kenny has written a medical history about the nature of plagues that general readers will find accessible and easy to understand. Readers intimidated by other books of similar topics need not avoid this informative and colorful history. The author brings the book up to the present day, with discussions of 21st-century outbreaks and plagues ... Kenny’s historical assessment of humanity’s handling of infectious diseases, including both successes and failures, is a testament to the remarkable progress made in modern medicine and is a well-rounded overview of the history of plagues.