Cover: The Deadly Truth: A History of Disease in America, from Harvard University PressCover: The Deadly Truth in PAPERBACK

The Deadly Truth

A History of Disease in America

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$45.00 • £36.95 • €40.50

ISBN 9780674017573

Publication Date: 03/31/2005

Short

368 pages

5-3/4 x 8-7/8 inches

World

The Deadly Truth chronicles the complex interactions between disease and the peoples of America from the pre-Columbian world to the present.

Gerald Grob’s ultimate lesson is stark but valuable: there can be no final victory over disease. The world in which we live undergoes constant change, which in turn creates novel risks to human health and life. We conquer particular diseases, but others always arise in their stead. In a powerful challenge to our tendency to see disease as unnatural and its virtual elimination as a real possibility, Grob asserts the undeniable biological persistence of disease.

Diseases ranging from malaria to cancer have shaped the social landscape—sometimes through brief, furious outbreaks, and at other times through gradual occurrence, control, and recurrence. Grob integrates statistical data with particular peoples and places while giving us the larger patterns of the ebb and flow of disease over centuries. Throughout, we see how much of our history, culture, and nation-building was determined—in ways we often don’t realize—by the environment and the diseases it fostered.

The way in which we live has shaped, and will continue to shape, the diseases from which we get sick and die. By accepting the presence of disease and understanding the way in which it has physically interacted with people and places in past eras, Grob illuminates the extraordinarily complex forces that shape our morbidity and mortality patterns and provides a realistic appreciation of the individual, social, environmental, and biological determinants of human health.

Awards & Accolades

  • Honor Book, 2003 New Jersey Council for the Humanities Book Award
Taxi from Another Planet: Conversations with Drivers about Life in the Universe, by Charles S. Cockell, from Harvard University Press

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Marking the 75th Anniversary of Independence from British Rule

August 14 and August 15 mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of independence from British rule for Pakistan and India, respectively. Inextricably linked to the birth of these two South Asian nations is the 1947 Partition of the subcontinent that tragically accompanied the end of British colonialism.