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The White Plague: Tuberculosis, Man and Society

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  5 reviews
In The White Plague, René and Jean Dubos argue that the great increase of tuberculosis was intimately connected with the rise of an industrial, urbanized society and—a much more controversial idea when this book first appeared forty years ago—that the progress of medical science had very little to do with the marked decline in tuberculosis in the twentieth century.

The Whit
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Paperback, 277 pages
Published March 1st 1987 by Rutgers University Press (first published 1952)
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3.88  · 
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Eleanor With Cats
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
An interesting history of tuberculosis in Europe and America through the end of the 1940s. (The book was originally published in 1952.) Obviously, some of the bacterial science is missing, which the book addresses:

"What properties do tubercle bacilli possess that permit them to establish themselves, multiply, and do damage in the human body? In other words, what is the mechanism of tuberculous disease?

"Benjamin Marten was not far from the truth when he suggested that his hypothetical 'animalcula
...more
Lissa Notreallywolf
It's been years since I read this book but it was fascinating. I read it during the time of the great AIDS epidemic to better understand how American culture copes with catastrophic disease, and what role disease and epidemics play in forming culture. It was all that, and entertaining as well. A good thing to read if you want to understand our current concerns about healthcare.
Stephen
Sep 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Important early work in infectious disease epidemiology and human ecology. Reminds us that tuberculosis was once far more threatening to western Europe than HIV-AIDS is today to that part of the world. Rene Dubos was a microbiologist and philosopher.
Mills College Library
614.54209 D817 1987
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In my opinion this is the _original_ authority on TB as a disease and it's relationship to society.
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