The Power of Plagues, by Irwin W. Sherman. ASM Press, Washington, D.C., 2006. 442 p. $39.95. ISBN: 1-55581-356-9.

This book is well-written and I believe that it can easily be understood by the non-scientist. In fact, it was so easy to read that my initial impression was that it was primarily written for undergraduates or even a younger audience; however, after completing the first few chapters, I realized that I learned considerable new information. I, therefore, believe that anyone who has an interest in the history of past and current infectious disease epidemics would find this text both informative and enjoyable. The book covers the history of a variety of plagues (including The Plague [Black Death], malaria, HIV, tuberculosis, leprosy, typhus, schistosomiasis, hookworm, African trypanosomiasis, and prion disease), and, therefore, a variety of infectious agents from the recently discovered prions to helminths that historically have...

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