Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus

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Penguin, Jul 19, 2012 - Science - 288 pages
A maddened creature, frothing at the mouth, lunges at an innocent victim—and, with a bite, transforms its prey into another raving monster. It’s a scenario that underlies our darkest tales of supernatural horror, but its power derives from a very real virus, a deadly scourge known to mankind from our earliest days. In this fascinating exploration, journalist Bill Wasik and veterinarian Monica Murphy chart four thousand years in the history, science, and cultural mythology of rabies.

The most fatal virus known to science, rabies kills nearly 100 percent of its victims once the infection takes root in the brain. A disease that spreads avidly from animals to humans, rabies has served throughout history as a symbol of savage madness, of inhuman possession. And today, its history can help shed light on the wave of emerging diseases, from AIDS to SARS to avian flu, that we now know to originate in animal populations. 

From Greek myths to zombie flicks, from the laboratory heroics of Louis Pasteur to the contemporary search for a lifesaving treatment, Rabid is a fresh, fascinating, and often wildly entertaining look at one of mankind’s oldest and most fearsome foes. 
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LisCarey - www.librarything.com

This is a cultural history of rabies. Bill Wasik is a journalist, and Monica Murphy a veterinarian, and they've put together an amazing, and amazingly readable, account of the history, mythology, and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LyndaInOregon - www.librarything.com

This study of rabies, its involvement with and impact on human beings, is interesting and informative when it sticks to the subject. High point for me was the section describing Louis Pasteur's ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER 2
CHAPTER 3
CHAPTER 4
KING LOUIS
CHAPTER 6
CHAPTER 7
CHAPTER 8
CONCLUSION
INDEX
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Bill Wasik is a senior editor at Wired and was formerly a senior editor at Harper’s; he writes on technology, media, and crowd dynamics. Monica Murphy holds degrees in public health from Johns Hopkins University and in veterinary medicine from the University of Minnesota. They are married and live with their son and whippet in Oakland, California.

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