Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Plague Time: The New Germ Theory of Disease” as Want to Read:
Plague Time: The New Germ Theory of Disease
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Plague Time: The New Germ Theory of Disease

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  86 ratings  ·  6 reviews
According to conventional wisdom, our genes and lifestyles are the most important causes of the most deadly ailments of our time. Conventional wisdom may be wrong. In this controversial book, the eminent biologist Paul W. Ewald offers some startling arguments:

-Germs appear to be at the root of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, many forms of cancer, and other chron
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 8th 2002 by Anchor
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 Plague Time, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Plague Time

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca SklootThe Ghost Map by Steven JohnsonThe Hot Zone by Richard   PrestonThe Great Influenza by John M. BarryThe Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
History of Medicine
42nd out of 125 books — 65 voters
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca SklootThe Hot Zone by Richard   PrestonThe Great Influenza by John M. BarryGuns, Germs, and Steel by Jared DiamondStiff by Mary Roach
Wonderful Books of Science and Medicine
57th out of 130 books — 45 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 217)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
The author, Dr. Ewald is a college professor and researcher who has become well known for his ideas relating natural selection and evolution to infectious diseases in humans. Some of the more noted medical schools in the country are incorporating his ideas into their training of physicians. The basic theme of his book is that some of the most common and dangerous diseases in humans might have an infectious disease component. Most people including many physicians and researchers do not consider h ...more
Mary Frances
Well, I'd dismiss this because the guy has gotten so little traction for his ideas except for a few things: having had inflammation problems affecting my health since childhood, the infection idea makes sense to me viscerallly; discoveries about ulcers, cervical cancer and heart disease beg for more research into infectious agents; we know the power of paradigms to affect what scientists sometimes see-what they expect to see rather than what is there; modern US medicine has failed miserable to h ...more
An interesting look at whether diseases that we consider to be "chronic" or "lifetyle" related may not actually be caused by viruses. No, it's not a look at whether, it's an assertion that viruses ARE at the root of many diseases that we don't now consider communicable.

Probably could have been squeezed into a New Yorker article, but worth a read.
Thematically, very similar to wildlife of our bodies, it didn't have quite that books tendency to blame a rigid scientific orthodoxy for failing to recognise that a few visionaries with very little evidence were correct, but it went part way. Sometimes, it seemed like the author didn't understand evolution, such as when he claimed that even if a gene has an negative effect late in life, it would have been selected out of the gene pool by now, unless the negative effect was recent, without making ...more
A fascinating hypothesis: what if many of our chronic diseases today are caused by infectious agents? Ewald develops the history of this idea and how it may inform medical practice in the future.
Sep 19, 2012 Antony added it
a great read. I am glad I read it now. in the light of Swine Flu 2009. Otherwise I wouldn't have believed some of it as easily as now. "Throwing "swine flu parties" in an attempt to get immunity against the virus while it is a fairly mild form is not a good idea, doctors say." "Their reasoning is that it is best to be infected before the winter when the virus could become more deadly. "
Cheryl Faulkner
Cheryl Faulkner marked it as to-read
Jan 15, 2015
Brooks Glisson
Brooks Glisson marked it as to-read
Jan 10, 2015
Melinda marked it as to-read
Dec 30, 2014
Paige marked it as to-read
Dec 04, 2014
Rosella marked it as to-read
Nov 15, 2014
Jen marked it as to-read
Nov 14, 2014
Ashleigh marked it as to-read
Nov 15, 2014
Rachel Chad
Rachel Chad marked it as to-read
Nov 05, 2014
Oxy added it
Nov 03, 2014
Crazyarms777 marked it as to-read
Oct 17, 2014
Tiffany marked it as to-read
Oct 14, 2014
J.J. marked it as to-read
Oct 13, 2014
Dyldo is currently reading it
Sep 28, 2014
Shanda marked it as to-read
Sep 20, 2014
Anthony marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey
  • The Doctors' Plague: Germs, Childbed Fever, and the Strange Story of Ignac Semmelweis
  • Secret Agents: The Menace of Emerging Infections
  • Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic
  • The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age
  • Cleansing the Doors of Perception: The Religious Significance of Entheogenic Plants and Chemicals
  • Man and Microbes: Disease and Plagues in History and Modern Times
  • Yellow Fever, Black Goddess: The Coevolution Of People And Plagues
  • A Primer of Drug Action
  • Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine
  • Why We Believe What We Believe: Uncovering Our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth
  • Viruses, Plagues and History
  • Muses, Madmen, and Prophets: Rethinking the History, Science, and Meaning of Auditory Hallucination
  • Virus Hunter: Thirty Years of Battling Hot Viruses Around the World
  • Biohazard: The Chilling True Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Program in the World--Told from the Inside by the Man Who Ran It
  • Osler's Web: Inside the Labyrinth of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Epidemic
  • In the Shadow of Memory
  • Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World
Controlling Cancer: A Powerful Plan for Taking On the World's Most Daunting Disease

Share This Book