We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
 >   > 
Germs, Genes, & Civilization: How Epidemics Shaped Who We Are Today | [David P. Clark]

Germs, Genes, & Civilization: How Epidemics Shaped Who We Are Today

Again and again, microbes have shaped our health, our genetics, our history, our culture, our politics, even our religion and ethics. This book reveals much that scientists and cultural historians have learned about the pervasive interconnections between infectious microbes and humans. It also considers what our ongoing fundamental relationship with infectious microbes might mean for the future of the human species.
Regular Price:$19.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

The stunning, hidden interconnections between microbes and humanity.

AD 452: Attila the Hun stands ready to sack Rome. No one can stop him - but he walks away. A miracle? No... dysentery. Microbes saved the Roman Empire. Nearly a millennium later, the microbes of the Black Death ended the Middle Ages, making possible the Renaissance, Western democracy, and the scientific revolution. Soon after, microbes ravaged the Americas, paving the way for their European conquest.

Again and again, microbes have shaped our health, our genetics, our history, our culture, our politics, even our religion and ethics. This book reveals much that scientists and cultural historians have learned about the pervasive interconnections between infectious microbes and humans. It also considers what our ongoing fundamental relationship with infectious microbes might mean for the future of the human species.

©2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as FT Press (P)2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as FT Press

What the Critics Say

"With wit and humor, the author turns death, an ever-heavy topic, into an engrossing exploration of the course of mankind." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (37 )
5 star
 (10)
4 star
 (10)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
3.5 (33 )
5 star
 (11)
4 star
 (7)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (5)
Story
3.4 (32 )
5 star
 (11)
4 star
 (5)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Tyler Red Deer, AB, Canada 12-21-11
    Tyler Red Deer, AB, Canada 12-21-11 Member Since 2011

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    20
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing Introduction!"

    This book is an excellent introduction regarding genetics and DNA. It is fairly long, approximately 7 hours or so, and at times can be a little dry. Overall though I have not seen any works that do a better job at introducing the basic principles of genetics and applying real life examples. To date I have listened to it twice and will likely listen to it more down the road.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rizan Sioux Falls, SD, United States 12-29-11
    Rizan Sioux Falls, SD, United States 12-29-11

    PSC

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thouroughly enjoyable"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Highly recommended, a clear eyed view of historical events highlighting the role of infections in shaping them. Spanning from early history to recent events.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob Killian chicago 06-22-12
    Bob Killian chicago 06-22-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Cheery and chirpy plagues and catastrophes"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Perhaps. There are nuggets of information that create interesting speculations on the impact of infectious diseases on the course of history: the rise and fall of civilizations and religions, conquerors and the conquered. Sound science. A little loopy in construction, as some anecdotes make multiple appearances in the text.


    What didn’t you like about Summer McStravick’s performance?

    The narrator went to smile school, and read everything in sing-song cheeriness, as if reading a children's book to a slightly dense toddler. The jarring impact of hearing a voice like that talk about pestilence, cholera, devastation and death is, to say the least, distracting. Also, the mispronunciations made me wonder if there was adult supervision. Honestly, "prelate" is *not* pronounced pree-late.


    Any additional comments?

    On balance, if you're a science fan, grit your teeth and get through it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Turramurra, Australia 04-28-12
    David Turramurra, Australia 04-28-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    57
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"

    I had hoped for more, but this book is pretty much what you would expect from a biologist playing at being a historian. There is a wealth of information about germs and genes, but only the most simplistic explanations of how they have shaped civilization.

    The narration, while technically very good, is also woefully inappropriate to the topic, with tragic death and human suffering described in an almost cheerful tone of voice.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    deborah Palm Coast, FL, United States 01-07-12
    deborah Palm Coast, FL, United States 01-07-12 Member Since 2011

    Online Grad Student, I prefer audiobooks to bound books. Preferences: history, disasters, Preston/Child, Lee Child

    HELPFUL VOTES
    117
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    110
    42
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    17
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worst narration ever"

    The content of this book is clear, though there are too many subchapters. The narration, on the other hand, was inappropriate juvenile. Summer McStravick has the most sing-song voice, and while this would be patronizing and annoying with any audiobook, it is truly inappropriate for reading a book on epidemics and mass death. I could hear her smiling as she says phrases like, "And so cholera killed millions on both coasts."

    This material is more adequately covered in other audiobooks, and better narrated as well.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer YORK, PA, United States 05-03-13
    Jennifer YORK, PA, United States 05-03-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Informative"

    I felt this book was very informative but there was much repetitive info in the book. I would still recommend listening to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    adi ashdod, Israel 04-01-13
    adi ashdod, Israel 04-01-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very informative, well written."
    If you could sum up Germs, Genes, & Civilization: How Epidemics Shaped Who We Are Today in three words, what would they be?

    Very good book, probably better off read than listened to by non biologically-oriented people (some basic knowledge in biology will do).


    Have you listened to any of Summer McStravick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Good performance


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Absolutely not


    Any additional comments?

    Good book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    john South Jordan, UT, United States 10-16-12
    john South Jordan, UT, United States 10-16-12 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Informative But Challenging"
    What would have made Germs, Genes, & Civilization: How Epidemics Shaped Who We Are Today better?

    I was hoping for a little more historical content than was provided.


    Would you ever listen to anything by David P. Clark again?

    Probably not


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    It was satisfactory.


    What character would you cut from Germs, Genes, & Civilization: How Epidemics Shaped Who We Are Today?

    Not applicable


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    patrick Kuopio, Finland 05-12-12
    patrick Kuopio, Finland 05-12-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An Adventure in Listening"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, the way the narrator keeps you on the edge of your seat (earphones actually) is amazing. As a history book it is second to none - as a scientific thriller it is excellent. Absolutely enjoyable.

    Rgds
    Patrick


    What does Summer McStravick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Great voice


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Think


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grace Brampton, Ontario, Canada 03-06-12
    Grace Brampton, Ontario, Canada 03-06-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome perspective on human civilization!"
    Would you listen to Germs, Genes, & Civilization: How Epidemics Shaped Who We Are Today again? Why?

    We don't think about it, but that is what makes us tick - germs and genes.
    I'm lucky to have stumbled upon this book - it has already changed my life.
    I'll never see the world the same again.


    What other book might you compare Germs, Genes, & Civilization: How Epidemics Shaped Who We Are Today to and why?

    I think of another eye-opener like


    Have you listened to any of Summer McStravick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I don't recall.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, definitely and I did!


    Any additional comments?

    Is there any translation into any other European language so I can share it with my friends?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 11 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
Sort by:
  • Steven
    Rugby, United Kingdom
    1/14/13
    Overall
    "Great content, shame about the voice..."

    For those who believe that real history is made by "the little people" at least as much if not far more than by kings and generals, this book shows just how little - microscopic in fact - can be the real history-makers. For anyone who is squeamish, this book poses quite a challenge - the gory details of how you die from jus about any infectious disease you care to name are laid out here. All in all, I had a hunch that the history of germs was worth getting into and was not in the least disappointed. APART from the fact that you need to overlook the fact that the american narrator has virtually no feel whatsoever for words not found on the New York subway. The river that runs thru London (as featured in the black death) is apparently called the Taymess. The hordes who came out of Asia and helped to overrun the Roman empire were "tayters" (presumably of Irish extraction). i could go on and on. But after wondering why oh why the production company chose such a crass reader, I was able to get back to the history, which is grisly but fun.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.