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Far from being just an itchy annoyance, a mosquito bite can also mark the transmission of a deadly disease. Millions worldwide die of malaria, yellow fever, and West Nile virus every year. Scientist Andrew Spielman tells the story of the tiny, ubiquitous insect, the diseases it carries, and the fight against them both in Mosquito.
Spielman, who has spent much of his career battling mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illness, knows his subject intimately--perhaps too intimately, as the section on the different species drags a bit. Better is his handling of various historic epidemics, from the malaria outbreak that caused the French to abandon the Panama Canal to the 1999 West Nile virus outbreak in New York City.
Spielman also recounts stories of how the tiny pests were thwarted, including the way DDT came to be used as a weapon in the cold war (take our side and we'll get rid of your mosquitoes)--and why these efforts ultimately failed. Most important, Spielman details how cities should prepare themselves for the inevitable epidemics ahead. --Sunny Delaney
Mosquito expert Spielman tells us, in this creepily fascinating book, that there are more than 2,500 kinds of those tiny, annoying, and extremely deadly creatures. Deadly? Yup: every year millions of people die from malaria, which is just one of the diseases carried by mosquitoes. Spielman and coauthor D'Antonio tell us everything we could possibly need to know about the mosquito: its life cycle, its natural enemies and predators, and, of course, its monumental impact on human history. (Did you know that mosquitoes contributed to Sir Francis Drake's defeat by the Spanish Armada, or that Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan had their plans of world domination brought to a screeching halt by the little pests?) This is truly an unexpected delight, an informative, entertaining, and sometimes skin-crawly book that should appeal to anyone with a taste for popular science. David Pitt
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This book reads like scince fiction, yet it's plenty of facts about the huge impact of the mosquitos on humankind and our history. Read morePublished on May 30 2011 by Silvio Gallus
As far as I can tell, this is essentially the same book as "Mosquito: The Story of Man's Deadliest Foe. Read morePublished on Dec 4 2003 by Daniel M. Hobbs
Perhaps I was merely spoiled by the book I read right before reading this one (Microbe Hunters by Paul de Kruif), but I found this book thoroughly mediocre both in content and... Read morePublished on Aug. 26 2003 by Thomas R. Neely
This book was written by a scientist and a journalist yet it was never clear to me what the contribution of the journalist was. The book writing showed knowledge, but not skills. Read morePublished on July 1 2003 by Kindle Customer
This book is a must for students of history and disease,
natural history, and popular history. It is especially timely in
light of the spread of the West Nile virus and... Read more
It reads like a fast paced novel and I could not keep it down...
One is surprised by how much they learn from the book and it is a great read for anybody who has ever thought... Read more
This is fun book about a subject that everybody hates. Nobody likes mosquitos, they are annoying little beasts and some of them may just kill you. Read morePublished on Jan. 10 2002 by Marceau Ratard
I was fascinated,educated, mesmerized and horrified by this book.
It was a wonderful read!