Unlike other books on epidemics, which either focus on the science behind how microbes cause disease or tell first-person accounts of one particular disease, this title takes a holistic approach to explaining how these diseases have shaped who we are as a society. Each of the worst epidemic diseases is discussed from the perspective of how it has been a causative agent of change with respect to our history, religious traditions, social interactions, and technology. In looking at world history through the lens of epidemic diseases, readers will come to appreciate how much we owe to the oldest and smallest parasites. Adults and students interested in science and history-and especially anyone who appreciates a good story and has a healthy curiosity for the lesser-known facts of life-will find this book of interest. Health-care workers will also benefit greatly from this text, as will college students who are majoring in biology or a pre-health field.