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Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox | [Jonathan B. Tucker]

Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox

Smallpox, the only infectious disease to have been eradicated, was one of the most terrifying of human scourges. It covered the skin with hideous, painful boils, killed a third of its victims, and left the survivors disfigured for life. In this riveting, often terrifying look at the history of smallpox, Jonathan B. Tucker tells the story of this deadly disease, the heroic efforts to eradicate it worldwide, and the looming dangers it still poses today.
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Publisher's Summary

Smallpox, the only infectious disease to have been eradicated, was one of the most terrifying of human scourges. It covered the skin with hideous, painful boils, killed a third of its victims, and left the survivors disfigured for life. In this riveting, often terrifying look at the history of smallpox, Jonathan B. Tucker tells the story of this deadly disease, the heroic efforts to eradicate it worldwide, and the looming dangers it still poses today.

Starting in the 16th century, the smallpox virus afflicted rich and poor, royalty and commoners, and repeatedly altered the course of human history.

No safe way of preventing smallpox existed until 1796, when an English country doctor named Edward Jenner developed a vaccine against it. During the ensuing 170 years, vaccination banished smallpox from the industrialized countries, but it remained a major cause of death in the developing world, killing almost two million people per year. Finally, in 1967, the World Health Organization launched an intensified global campaign to eradicate smallpox. By early 1978, the disease had been eliminated worldwide.

During the 1980s, Soviet leaders cynically exploited the world's new vulnerability to smallpox by mass-producing the virus as a strategic weapon. In recent years, concern over the possible return of smallpox has taken an even greater urgency with the realization that clandestine stocks of the virus may still exist.

©2001 Jonathan B. Tucker; (P)2002 Blackstone Audiobooks

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  •  
    Roderick El Centro, CA, United States 07-26-06
    Roderick El Centro, CA, United States 07-26-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Everyone should listen to this"

    Well written and read. Can get a little technical but I learned quite a bit from this book. This story is important in understanding more of the ease of spread of current diseases and the near impossible fight against them. Great work...

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 04-19-12
    Amazon Customer United States 04-19-12 Member Since 2011

    Protect the innocent and helpless. Stand for truth and goodness and your soul will be happy and blessed.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very informative"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Scourge to be better than the print version?

    I did not read the print version. I prefer audio because I can clean my house and "read"a great informative book at the same time. I can also drive and "read" too.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way it was presented was both informative and entertaining. It kept my attention and I hated when it was over.


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

    No, but I think he did a fine job on Scourge.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The Maker of Tears


    Any additional comments?

    I am a nurse and love books about health related issues.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    deborah Palm Coast, FL, United States 12-13-11
    deborah Palm Coast, FL, United States 12-13-11 Member Since 2011

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

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    "Everything you wanted to know about Smallpox"

    Seminal book on the science and politics of Smallpox throughout history, and the tug of war between states to hold on to the virus for later, possibly destructive, uses. Gives you a great look at the workings of the WHO, and public health in general. Well researched. The author was robably was granted access to WHO and CDC files, naming patients, dates, medical files, etc. The ending is so political that one loses track, but in general, a great book well narrated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S Willow Beach, ON, Canada 02-07-12
    S Willow Beach, ON, Canada 02-07-12 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Dreaded Disease"
    Would you listen to Scourge again? Why?

    no - it was a fascinating tale - until it got to the political entanglements at the end of the book


    What did you like best about this story?

    Well written - excellent historical account of the history of a disease that often changed the course of history and how nations cooperated to eradicate it.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The difference between the eradication of smallpox in Africa compared to India and how industrialization made it more difficult to eradicate.


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

    no . . . not that kind of book - but the political posturing at the end made it very difficult to finish!


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator did an excellent job of wading through some pretty scientific names - but mispronounced

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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