Lately I’ve been enjoying Bryn Barnard’s informative book, outbreak. This book explains the biggest epidemics and their effects on the world then and now. It covers Bubonic Plague, Smallpox, Tuberculosis, Cholera, Yellow Fever, and Influenza and how they changed the economy, government, religious beliefs, and research and development with deadly force. After reading the section on the Black Death, Bryn’s claim that “microbial parasites can change not just individuals but entire societies” was quickly proven. The illustrations provided convey what the mood and scenery of the time really looked like. Combine this with a map of the trade routes used and the time of which each civilization was first affected by the plague and you get a combination for a compelling presentation which this book provides. In conclusion, I enjoyed reading through outbreak and plan on reading more!

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