The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years

The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years

In recent years, malaria has emerged as a cause célèbre for voguish philanthropists. Bill Gates, Bono, and Laura Bush are only a few of the personalities who have lent their names—and opened their pocketbooks—in hopes of curing the disease. Still, in a time when every emergent disease inspires waves of panic, why aren’t we doing more to eradicate one of our oldest foes? And how does a parasitic disease that we’ve known how to prevent for more than a century still infect 500 million people every year, killing nearly 1 million of them?

In The Fever, the journalist Sonia Shah sets out to answer these questions, delivering a timely, inquisitive chronicle of the illness and its influence on human lives. Through the centuries, she finds, we’ve invested our hopes in a panoply of drugs and technologies, and invariably those hopes have been dashed. From the settling of the New World to the construction of the Panama Canal, through wars and the advances of the Industrial Revolution, Shah tracks malaria’s jagged ascent and the tragedies in its wake, revealing a parasite every bit as persistent as the insects that carry it. With distinguished prose and original reporting from Panama, Malawi, Cameroon, India, and elsewhere, The Fever captures the curiously fascinating, devastating history of this long-standing thorn in the side of humanity.

Title:The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780374230012
Format Type:

    The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years Reviews

  • Alysa

    I'm going to start this review by noting that I am a malaria researcher, myself, and thus am already familiar with much of the material Shah presented in this book. This, of course, affects the way I ...

  • Kate

    Disclosure: This follows on the heels of Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World and The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, and I am an a...

  • Nancy

    Malaria is a complex disease that cannot be summed up in a slogan or sound-bite. Ms. Shah does a good job of covering both how malaria affects people and the larger impact on history. She explains why...

  • Jay C

    A very educational read for me, on a topic I admittedly knew very little about when I began reading. Almost a chronicle of humanity's naïveté or arrogance in the way that our imagined solutions to "...

  • David

    good history and easy-to-digest science regarding why malaria has been so devastating and so resistant to eradication efforts. Because a couple of my nephews went to a high school run by Jesuits, I wa...

  • Paul Brannan

    You know you’re into something special when you open a book randomly and find something compelling on every page.Sonia Shah performs a great balancing act in delivering the complexities of malarial ...

  • Richard

    The New York Times reviewed The Fever on July 26, 2010, in Drama! Intrigue! A Mystery? No, Malaria’s Story .With global warming climate change, malaria will undoubtedly return to the United States,...

  • Catherine

    Sonia Shah hates mosquitoes, as do I.I have occassion to help diaganosis Malaria, in an east coast medical center. When a patient is diagnosed, it is usually someone who was originally from a malaria ...

  • Shana Yates

    This book was OK. The pros: good introduction into malaria, it's impact and longevity on human society, and the mechanisms of its infection and treatment. The cons: the author spends way too much time...

  • Edward

    I thought at first this would be a dry book about the history of malaria. Far from it - an interesting survey of malaria - its symptoms, history, treatment. Malaria, through mosquitoes, has always bee...