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Author: Molly Caldwell Crosby
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101185681
Size: 26.55 MB
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A fascinating look at a bizarre, forgotten epidemic from the national bestselling author of The American Plague. In 1918, a world war raged, and a lethal strain of influenza circled the globe. In the midst of all this death, a bizarre disease appeared in Europe. Eventually known as encephalitis lethargica, or sleeping sickness, it spread worldwide, leaving millions dead or locked in institutions. Then, in 1927, it disappeared as suddenly as it arrived. Asleep, set in 1920s and '30s New York, follows a group of neurologists through hospitals and asylums as they try to solve this epidemic and treat its victims-who learned the worst fate was not dying of it, but surviving it.


Author: Molly Caldwell Crosby
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780425238738
Size: 26.80 MB
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Follows a group of neurologists in New York as they try to solve the worldwide epidemic of encephalitis lethargic, or sleeping sickness, the bizarre disease which left millions dead or in insane asylums between 1918 and 1927. Reprint.

The American Plague

Author: Molly Caldwell Crosby
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781440620461
Size: 37.77 MB
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In this account, a journalist traces the course of yellow fever, stopping in 1878 Memphis to "vividly [evoke] the Faulkner-meets-'Dawn of the Dead' horrors,"*-and moving on to today's strain of the killer virus. Over the course of history, yellow fever has paralyzed governments, halted commerce, quarantined cities, moved the U.S. capital, and altered the outcome of wars. During a single summer in Memphis alone, it cost more lives than the Chicago fire, the San Francisco earthquake, and the Johnstown flood combined. In 1900, the U.S. sent three doctors to Cuba to discover how yellow fever was spread. There, they launched one of history's most controversial human studies. Compelling and terrifying, The American Plague depicts the story of yellow fever and its reign in this country-and in Africa, where even today it strikes thousands every year. With "arresting tales of heroism,"** it is a story as much about the nature of human beings as it is about the nature of disease.

The Great Pearl Heist

Author: Molly Caldwell Crosby
Publisher: Berkley
ISBN: 0425253732
Size: 21.65 MB
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An exquisite strand of pale pink pearls, worth more than the Hope Diamond, has been bought by a Hatton Garden broker. Word of the 'Mona Lisa of Pearls' spreads around the world, captivating jewellers as well as thieves. In transit to London from Paris, the necklace vanishes without a trace. Thoroughly researched, compellingly colourful, The Great Pearl Heist is a gripping narrative account of this little-known, yet extraordinary crime. In the spirit of The Great Train Robbery and the tales of Sherlock Holmes, this is the true story set in London's golden Edwardian era.


Author: David M. Oshinsky
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195152948
Size: 37.60 MB
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A history of the 1950s polio epidemic that caused panic in the United States examines the competition between Salk and Sabin to find the first vaccine and its implications for such issues as government testing of new drugs and manufacturers' liability.


Author: Oliver Sacks
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307834093
Size: 10.82 MB
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Awakenings--which inspired the major motion picture--is the remarkable story of a group of patients who contracted sleeping-sickness during the great epidemic just after World War I. Frozen for decades in a trance-like state, these men and women were given up as hopeless until 1969, when Dr. Oliver Sacks gave them the then-new drug L-DOPA, which had an astonishing, explosive, "awakening" effect. Dr. Sacks recounts the moving case histories of his patients, their lives, and the extraordinary transformations which went with their reintroduction to a changed world.

The Family That Couldn T Sleep

Author: D. T. Max
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1588365581
Size: 55.46 MB
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For two hundred years a noble Venetian family has suffered from an inherited disease that strikes their members in middle age, stealing their sleep, eating holes in their brains, and ending their lives in a matter of months. In Papua New Guinea, a primitive tribe is nearly obliterated by a sickness whose chief symptom is uncontrollable laughter. Across Europe, millions of sheep rub their fleeces raw before collapsing. In England, cows attack their owners in the milking parlors, while in the American West, thousands of deer starve to death in fields full of grass. What these strange conditions–including fatal familial insomnia, kuru, scrapie, and mad cow disease–share is their cause: prions. Prions are ordinary proteins that sometimes go wrong, resulting in neurological illnesses that are always fatal. Even more mysterious and frightening, prions are almost impossible to destroy because they are not alive and have no DNA–and the diseases they bring are now spreading around the world. In The Family That Couldn’t Sleep, essayist and journalist D. T. Max tells the spellbinding story of the prion’s hidden past and deadly future. Through exclusive interviews and original archival research, Max explains this story’s connection to human greed and ambition–from the Prussian chemist Justus von Liebig, who made cattle meatier by feeding them the flesh of other cows, to New Guinean natives whose custom of eating the brains of the dead nearly wiped them out. The biologists who have investigated these afflictions are just as extraordinary–for example, Daniel Carleton Gajdusek, a self-described “pedagogic pedophiliac pediatrician” who cracked kuru and won the Nobel Prize, and another Nobel winner, Stanley Prusiner, a driven, feared self-promoter who identified the key protein that revolutionized prion study. With remarkable precision, grace, and sympathy, Max–who himself suffers from an inherited neurological illness–explores maladies that have tormented humanity for centuries and gives reason to hope that someday cures will be found. And he eloquently demonstrates that in our relationship to nature and these ailments, we have been our own worst enemy.


Author: Paul McEuen
Publisher: Random House Digital, Inc.
ISBN: 038534211X
Size: 28.71 MB
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When an eminent elderly biologist is found dead at the bottom of a gorge, his research collaborator, Jake Sterling, believes that it is more than a case of suicide and sets out to uncover a secret that could prove devastating for humanity.


Author: Bill Wasik
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101583746
Size: 58.15 MB
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A maddened creature, frothing at the mouth, lunges at an innocent victim—and, with a bite, transforms its prey into another raving monster. It’s a scenario that underlies our darkest tales of supernatural horror, but its power derives from a very real virus, a deadly scourge known to mankind from our earliest days. In this fascinating exploration, journalist Bill Wasik and veterinarian Monica Murphy chart four thousand years in the history, science, and cultural mythology of rabies. The most fatal virus known to science, rabies kills nearly 100 percent of its victims once the infection takes root in the brain. A disease that spreads avidly from animals to humans, rabies has served throughout history as a symbol of savage madness, of inhuman possession. And today, its history can help shed light on the wave of emerging diseases, from AIDS to SARS to avian flu, that we now know to originate in animal populations. From Greek myths to zombie flicks, from the laboratory heroics of Louis Pasteur to the contemporary search for a lifesaving treatment, Rabid is a fresh, fascinating, and often wildly entertaining look at one of mankind’s oldest and most fearsome foes.


Author: Gina Kolata
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1429979356
Size: 49.42 MB
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The fascinating, true story of the world's deadliest disease. In 1918, the Great Flu Epidemic felled the young and healthy virtually overnight. An estimated forty million people died as the epidemic raged. Children were left orphaned and families were devastated. As many American soldiers were killed by the 1918 flu as were killed in battle during World War I. And no area of the globe was safe. Eskimos living in remote outposts in the frozen tundra were sickened and killed by the flu in such numbers that entire villages were wiped out. Scientists have recently rediscovered shards of the flu virus frozen in Alaska and preserved in scraps of tissue in a government warehouse. Gina Kolata, an acclaimed reporter for The New York Times, unravels the mystery of this lethal virus with the high drama of a great adventure story. Delving into the history of the flu and previous epidemics, detailing the science and the latest understanding of this mortal disease, Kolata addresses the prospects for a great epidemic recurring, and, most important, what can be done to prevent it.