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3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  28 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Much as we take comfort in the belief that modern medicine and public health tactics can protect us from horrifying contagious diseases, such faith is dangerously unfounded. So demonstrates Mark Harrison in this pathbreaking investigation of the intimate connections between trade and disease throughout modern history. For centuries commerce has been the single most importa ...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published September 14th 2013 by Yale University Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Nicholas Piva
In contemporary times, we often neglect thinking about pervasive matters such as commerce and disease and how they affect every one of us. The two aforementioned topics were of great interest throughout the book contagion, and more interestingly, how the two are directly correlated.

If you are a history buff, or like myself, a man of the world, I implore you to read this book. This book, written by Mark Harrison, enlightens us of the effects of global trade, starting from the caravans of medieva
Subtitle: "How Commerce Has Spread Disease". Which, frankly, is a bit of a bait-and-switch; it gives the impression that we are going to get a heretical look at the concept of free trade, which in modern times is sacrosanct to both progressives and liberals. Instead, we get a history of how free trade advocates have managed to subvert all efforts to halt the spread of disease.

In some ways, the problem that Harrison faces is that his chosen topic is chock full of data which is contrary to his sta
Fiona Hodgkin
Mar 12, 2013 Fiona Hodgkin rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Fiona by: New York Times review
Shelves: non-fiction
I bought Mark Harrison's 'Contagion: How Commerce Has Spread Disease' at the Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore because I read a review in the New York Times on February 3. The subtitle - 'How Commerce Has Spread' disease is not an entirely accurate description of the topic of this book. It is more accurately a scholarly history of quarantine. Now, of course quarantine and commerce intersect, but people and fomites move around for lots of non-commercial reasons, especially now. 'Contagion' suffers by com ...more
Margaret Sankey
This is a really good, terribly named book (although the rat and the CONTAGION kept people away from me while I read it in public, so there's that). What it is really about is how governments, while totally not understanding disease transmission, realized very quickly that quarantines were great tools through which they could hold hostages, delay shipments of perishable stuff, open diplomatic letters "to fumigate them" and tie up other countries' resources trying to wrest all of it loose. Sure, ...more
Science For The People
Featured on Science for the People show #217 on June 14, 2013, during an interview with author Mark Harrison.
As seen in Nature . ...more
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