Inder's Reviews > Rats, Lice and History

Rats, Lice and History by Hans Zinsser
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's review
Apr 25, 08

bookshelves: alltimefaves, culture, disease, history, favorites
Recommended to Inder by: Dad
Read in January, 1994

Thanks to Happyreader, I realized my review of this book is associated with a totally obscure and out-of-print edition. So that no one will ever actually see my review, and I can't easily compare mine with others'. Since I really, really love this book, I'm moving my review.

A must read for anyone interested in biology, or science, or language, or good writing, or life in general, this is one of my all-time favorites. After many non-sequitors about a variety of topics, the author finally gets around to explaining, in engaging, lucid detail, why human history is actually the history of bacterias, viruses, fleas, lice, and, yes, the occasional rat.

This is the precurser to "Guns, Germs, and Steel," but it's funnier. But beware, the first couple of chapters are very weird. Don't give up!

This book made me want to become an epidemiologist. It's still one of my back-up plans.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Happyreader (new) - added it

Happyreader Eeks. I tried to use my librarian powers for good and combine your edition with the misspelled author name (fixed the spelling) with the other editions -- and now you have two reviews. Oops. Sorry. Now you can pick your favorite review and delete the other.

Inder Ha! No worries! Thanks for giving it a shot! Also, now I get to imagine you as some kind of superhero, with "librarian powers."

message 3: by Happyreader (new) - added it

Happyreader Too funny. You too can have superpowers!! I highly recommend getting librarian status -- just as long as you use your powers for good.

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