Brings Deep Expertise Within Reach of the Public,
The author does a superb job of both crediting others (e.g. Laurie Garrett, whose stunning book “BETRAYAL OF TRUST: The Collapse of Global Public Health” we reviewed last year) while weaving his own insights into the story. ERIDs are “emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.” They matter more now because, as the author summarizes it, modern man is in a very different situation today: “individuals can travel around the world rapidly by airplane, and overpopulation and the growth of megacities have created entirely new ‘disease pools’ that will allow new pathogens to emerge and flourish.”
The author has done a fine job of documenting how “human-induced worldwide environmental destruction” is both releasing pathogens from their hiding places in rain forests, launching new microbes that wreak havoc on aquatic life, and proliferating resistant strains of micobial terrorists we do not understand. Bacteria, in brief, are a thousand to a million times more deadly that any terrorist gang, and we would be wise to get our priorities straight as we set about pretending to govern.
As a general statement, the author appears to have done very very well as identifying intervening variables that could be analyzed, and his conclusions on what needs to be done are “President ready.” He not only makes his case, he ends by calling for a massive increase in “health intelligence,” and thereby demonstrates a wit lacking in most academics.
The notes are excellent, there is no bibliography, and the index is so mediocre it might as well not have been included–there is also no biography of this talented author, a grevious lack. The book should be reissued with this deficiencies being corrected.