Hans Zinsser (November 17, – September 4, ) was an American physician, for Nonfiction voted by members of the American Booksellers Association. He is remembered especially for his book, Rats, Lice, and History. Rats, Lice and History by Hans Zinsser, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. Available in: Paperback. When Rats, Lice and History appeared in , Hans Zinsser was a highly regarded Harvard biologist who had never.

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It would be an almost unbearably boring and depressing list if Dr. I found the first 12 chapters more interesting than those on the disease itself partly because of an aversion to things medicalbut there’s no doubt that his writing can still be amusing and interesting. Instead, I was caught off guard by all this randomness and burst out laughing. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Best biology book I ever read. But beware, the first couple of chapters are very weird. Insects, in their well-organized societies, are destructive of one form of living creature, but helpful to another. Not for a moment is it non-scientific; in fact he unqualifiedly discounts the popular scientist angle as misleading. Review quote -Zinsser’s account of rxts and men remains a hqns.

In his view, infectious disease simply represented an attempt of a living organism to survive. Enquist Susan E. Other books in this series. Yet popular science it certainly is – his attempt to avoid the label seems to be because it was somewhat despised as a type of writing by academics in the s when this book was written – and Zinsser wanted to make this more personal than popular science tended to be back then, hence his instance that the book was a ‘biography’ of the disease typhus.

The use of the royal ‘we’ is another of Zinsser’s foibles. The next quarter or even more is then dedicated to wars and disease and destruction from the dawn of zinseer onward. It arose probably in the east and even possibly through battling on Cyprus.

Views Read Edit View history. Medicine, the practice concerned with the maintenance of health and the prevention, alleviation, or cure of disease. How you find this book will depend to an extent how you cope with Zinsser’s whimsical and eccentric approach. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies. Jul 29, Zanna znd it really liked it. Concerning the sex-life of the louse, Hstory. Zinsser writes, “Nature has provided that the nymph- that is, what may be called the high-school or flapper age zinser the louse- is not yet possessed histoey sexual organs.


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hans Zinsser. I remember it as a facinating book written for anyone. Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval.

He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and has been the president of the American Association for the History of Medicine. Rats, Lice and History is a tour de force.

Feb 17, Lavanita rated it really liked it. But — in the course of definitely scientific marshalling of facts, he shows how typhus has won and lost seiges, even hitsory wars, has changed the face of the world, has played its part at almost every step of historical development. Its also fascinating how far back in history those diseases persisted in influencing the events in human history.

Hans Zinsser

Rats, Lice, and History: Hans Zinsser’s use of prose and snark throughout this book makes this biographical history of typhus a adn turner. This book started my nonfiction craze. The beginnings of bacteriology paralleled the development of the microscope. He convincingly argues that most wars in history have had more fatalities due to disease than those caused on the battlefield, and that many famous battles and wars were dramatically changed due to the influence of diseases.

Probably more interesting as a historical document about how scholars looked at disease and the world in the s than as actual history, but the book remains influential in the field, as far as I can tell.

Retrieved from ” https: Although he had published under a pseudonym, virtually all of his previous writings had dealt with infections and immunity and had appeared either in medical and scientific journals or in book format.


Here’s a book to watch. The bookplate for Vandevelde inside the cover, the obituaries for Dr. Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. Be the first to discover new talent! So off-topic, but the author is aware of how off-topic he is, “This, we promise, is the last serious digression from our main theme” It is hanz At multiple points, he feels that so much extraneous matter is related to hisrory subject that he just starts giving a list of random historical events with no explanation of their connection.

Sigerist Professor of the History of Medicine emeritus. Some of his verses were published in The Atlantic Monthly. Zinsser will talk about the Dark Ages and plague snd go back and talk about diseases hane ancient Greece.

Zinsser’s articles will enjoy this book, and to otehrs it will be a pleasant surprise.

The book is a biography of typhus, written by the biologist who isolated the disease. Generally the Greek and Latin are translated or explained.

Rats, Lice and History : Hans Zinsser :

His best-known book, Rats, Lice and Historyrecounts the effects of typhus on humankind he believed disease had destroyed more civilizations than hstory and efforts to eradicate it. Zinnser’s romp through the ancient and modern worlds describes how epidemics devastated the Byzantines under Justinian, put Charles V atop the Holy Roman Empire, stopped the Turks at the Carpathians, and turned Napolean’s “Grand Armee “back from Moscow.

War and conquest and that herd existence which is an accompaniment of what we call civilization have merely set the stage for these more powerful agents of human tragedy.

Let’s go with 4. Albert Einstein, German-born physicist who developed the special and general theories of relativity and…. After holding a series of academic medicine positions, Zinsser became an associate professor at Stanford University in