The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator

September 8, 2019 - Comment

**The instant New York Times bestseller***An international bestseller* “Hugely impressive, a major work.”—NPR A pioneering and groundbreaking work of narrative nonfiction that offers a dramatic new perspective on the history of humankind, showing how through millennia, the mosquito has been the single most powerful force in determining humanity’s fate.   Why was gin and tonic

**The instant New York Times bestseller**
*An international bestseller*

“Hugely impressive, a major work.”—NPR

A pioneering and groundbreaking work of narrative nonfiction that offers a dramatic new perspective on the history of humankind, showing how through millennia, the mosquito has been the single most powerful force in determining humanity’s fate.
 
Why was gin and tonic the cocktail of choice for British colonists in India and Africa? What does Starbucks have to thank for its global domination? What has protected the lives of popes for millennia? Why did Scotland surrender its sovereignty to England? What was George Washington’s secret weapon during the American Revolution?

The answer to all these questions, and many more, is the mosquito.
 
Across our planet since the dawn of humankind, this nefarious pest, roughly the size and weight of a grape seed, has been at the frontlines of history as the grim reaper, the harvester of human populations, and the ultimate agent of historical change. As the mosquito transformed the landscapes of civilization, humans were unwittingly required to respond to its piercing impact and universal projection of power.
 
The mosquito has determined the fates of empires and nations, razed and crippled economies, and decided the outcome of pivotal wars, killing nearly half of humanity along the way. She (only females bite) has dispatched an estimated 52 billion people from a total of 108 billion throughout our relatively brief existence. As the greatest purveyor of extermination we have ever known, she has played a greater role in shaping our human story than any other living thing with which we share our global village.
 
Imagine for a moment a world without deadly mosquitoes, or any mosquitoes, for that matter? Our history and the world we know, or think we know, would be completely unrecognizable.
 
Driven by surprising insights and fast-paced storytelling, The Mosquito is the extraordinary untold story of the mosquito’s reign through human history and her indelible impact on our modern world order.

Comments

Anonymous says:

A terrific subject and stirring information, but the book loses credibility as you dig deeper Microhistory is taking over the nonfiction market, and the newest addition, Timothy Winegard’s The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator is a perfect example of the intriguing subgenre. If you’re not familiar with “microhistory”, it is a relatively new trend that takes a specific subject and tracks it throughout (usually) the history of the world. Examples are Mark Kurlansky’s books Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, Salt: A World History, and Milk!: A…

Anonymous says:

The Mosquito’s Guide to Western Civilization The Mosquito, while beginning and ending on interesting notes, is too much of a simplified retelling of the history of Western civilization to be worth reading. The first chapter explains the mechanism and evolutionary history of mosquito borne viruses while the last chapter describes both the private and public efforts to eradicate such diseases.In between, there is a litany of descriptions of the great wars of the Western world with the repeated refrain that the winning side was…

Anonymous says:

Largely already done This book is a summary of other books and offers very little that is new. By summary, I mean the conclusions of other historians are cited though the path they took to get to those conclusions – the research and field studies – is largely glossed over. The author acknowledges these “brilliant accounts” continuously throughout his own book leading one to wonder why this book was written. The author also has a tendency to go off on tangents (he really dislikes Disney’s treatment of Pocahontas,…

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