According to conventional wisdom, our genes and lifestyles are the most important causes of the most deadly ailments of our time. Conventional wisdom may be wrong. In this controversial book, the eminent biologist Paul W. Ewald offers some startling arguments:
-Germs appear to be at the root of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, many forms of cancer, and other chronic diseases. -The greatest threats to our health come not from sensational killers such as Ebola, West Nile virus, and super-virulent strains of influenza, but from agents that are already here causing long-term infections, which eventually lead to debilitation and death. -The medical establishment has largely ignored the evidence that implicates these germs, to the detriment of our public health. -New evolutionary theories are available, which explain how germs function and offer opportunities for controlling these modern plagues — if we are willing to listen to them.
Plague Time is an eye-opening exploration of the revolutionary new understanding of disease that may set the course of medical research for the twenty-first century.
Paul W. Ewald, professor of biology at Amherst College, is the author of Evolution of Infectious Disease and the first recipient of the George E. Burch fellowship in Theoretic Medicine. He lives in Shutesbury, Massachusetts.
“Could change medicine as profoundly during the 21st century as germ theory did in the 20th.”–Newsweek
“Could revolutionize the treatment of serious chronic disease.”–Richard Rhodes
“Has gems of insight and imagery which mark out its author as a master explainer.”–Richard Dawkins
“Paul Ewald’s important, compelling book could revolutionize the treatment of serious chronic disease. I couldn’t put it down.” —Richard Rhodes, author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb and Deadly Feasts
"Provocative. . . . If correct, this theory will change the course of medicine." —Scientific American
“Paul Ewald is one of the liveliest and most original thinkers about disease. . . . Plague Time contains a new feast of his astonishing insights.” —Mark Ridley, author of The Cooperative Gene
“This book has gems of insight which mark out its author as a master explainer.” —Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene