Plagues and Peoples - William McNeill

Plagues and Peoples

By William McNeill

  • Release Date: 1977-10-11
  • Genre: Social Science
Score: 4.5
From 11 Ratings


The history of disease is the history of humankind: an interpretation of the world as seen through the extraordinary impact—political, demographic, ecological, and psychological—of disease on cultures.

"A book of the first importance, a truly revolutionary work."The New Yorker

From the conquest of Mexico by smallpox as much as by the Spanish, to the bubonic plague in China, to the typhoid epidemic in Europe, Plagues and Peoples is "a brilliantly conceptualized and challenging achievement" (Kirkus Reviews). Upon its original publication, Plagues and Peoples was an immediate critical and popular success, offering a radically new interpretation of world history. With the identification of AIDS in the early 1980s, another chapter was added to this chronicle of events, which William McNeill explores in his introduction to this edition. 

Thought-provoking, well-researched, and compulsively readable, Plagues and Peoples is essential reading—that rare book that is as fascinating as it is scholarly, as intriguing as it is enlightening.