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

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Penguin, Jul 19, 2012 - Science - 288 pages
19 Reviews
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  - greeniezona - LibraryThing

Karen took me to the bookstore to pick out a book (or two, or three) for my birthday, and this one jumped out at me for obvious reasons. (I'd had to get the full round of rabies shots after being ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - drbubbles - LibraryThing

I wanted—want—to like this book, I really did/do. But in the first place, the style is painfully overblown. If the book were a Shakespeare performance, the lines would be declaimed melodramatically ... 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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