Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Gospel of Germs: Men, Women, and the Microbe in American Life” as Want to Read:
The Gospel of Germs: Men, Women, and the Microbe in American Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Gospel of Germs: Men, Women, and the Microbe in American Life

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  73 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
AIDS. Ebola. "Killer microbes." All around us the alarms are going off, warning of the danger of new, deadly diseases. And yet, as Nancy Tomes reminds us in her absorbing book, this is really nothing new. A remarkable work of medical and cultural history, "The Gospel of Germs" takes us back to the first great "germ panic" in American history, which peaked in the early ...more
Paperback, 351 pages
Published September 1st 1999 by Harvard University Press (first published 1998)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Gospel of Germs, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Gospel of Germs

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Carol
Jun 11, 2009 Carol rated it liked it
The notion of germs spreading disease acquired currency in the late 19th century. Public-health efforts focused on better plumbing, to avoid fecal contamination of water supplies, and general cleanliness. I was amused to read that toilets were designed to flush thoroughly, something I envy given the current fad for low-flow "green" toilets that often require repeated flushing. Changes promoted to promote cleanliness included shortening women's skirts, shaving off facial hair and reducing the ...more
Emily
Oct 11, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it
In this social history of microbes, Tomes explores how germ theory revolutionized the scientific beliefs and everyday life of Americans in the nineteenth century. As she demonstrates, with interesting case studies written in delightfully legible prose, the gospel of germs resulted in a religiously zealous conversion in American life, including class-based obsessions with cleanliness, the rise of antiseptic minimalism and sanitation in home design and decor (particularly in the bathroom), changes ...more
Mathew Powers
May 04, 2015 Mathew Powers rated it it was amazing
I honestly thought I would hate this book, simply because I imagined the content would read much like a dry medical journal. Wow, was I wrong! This is a social and cultural history of the U.S, using the response to germs and the fear of disease as the inspiration for social and cultural change. The writing is fantastic and the material is incredibly interesting.

I only with the title of the book (and the chapters, honestly) were different. I think more would enjoy this book if the title didn't a
...more
Dan
Mar 28, 2015 Dan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
One of the better books on disease I've read. Tomes focuses on the social and cultural shifts brought about by the adoption of the germ theory of disease. It is very perceptive and picks up certain subtle changes in the tone and emphasis of the "gospel of germs" that a less careful review would have missed, particularly in reference to the lingering sanitationism that survived well into the early 20th century.
Emily Brown
Jun 30, 2007 Emily Brown rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: public health science germs
Shelves: science, history
this is the masterpiece of what i enjoy. written with ease, and with fantastic biobliographies and notes: please read this book--about public health in the era of the germ.
Kevin
Kevin rated it liked it
Jul 01, 2014
Assyaf Syafaat
Assyaf Syafaat rated it did not like it
Jan 04, 2014
Shauna Johnston
Shauna Johnston rated it it was amazing
Jun 29, 2011
Karla
Karla rated it it was amazing
Jun 11, 2007
Musashi
Musashi rated it really liked it
Nov 02, 2014
Emily
Emily rated it really liked it
May 28, 2015
Nblinks
Nblinks rated it really liked it
Apr 23, 2008
Allie
Allie rated it really liked it
Feb 21, 2016
Emily Mcdaniel
Emily Mcdaniel rated it really liked it
Jul 10, 2013
Ziv Eisenberg
Ziv Eisenberg rated it it was amazing
Nov 02, 2007
Lauren
Lauren rated it really liked it
Feb 09, 2011
Sharon
Sharon rated it liked it
Apr 12, 2014
Sarah
Sarah rated it really liked it
Mar 02, 2008
Kate
Kate rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2016
Jacqueline Antonovich
Jacqueline Antonovich rated it really liked it
Feb 25, 2013
Margaret Wilkening
Margaret Wilkening rated it really liked it
Feb 26, 2012
Peyton
Peyton rated it liked it
Mar 27, 2012
Megan
Megan rated it liked it
Oct 04, 2009
Cassandra
Cassandra rated it really liked it
Mar 28, 2012
Heather
Heather rated it liked it
Jun 13, 2014
Karen
Karen rated it it was amazing
Jul 18, 2014
Jessi
Jessi rated it liked it
Feb 15, 2008
Ryan Chiu
Ryan Chiu rated it really liked it
Jan 01, 2013
Tammy
Tammy rated it liked it
Feb 13, 2011
Maura Levine
Maura Levine rated it really liked it
Apr 22, 2016
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book