The Fever by Sonia Shah
How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years

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Synopsis

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.


 

About Sonia Shah

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Sonia Shah is an investigative journalist and the critically acclaimed author of The Body Hunters: Testing New Drugs on the World's Poorest Patients and Crude: The Story of Oil. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, New Scientist, The Nation, and elsewhere.
 
Published June 29, 2010 by Sarah Crichton Books. 320 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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While quinine was long recognized as malaria therapy, the cause of the disease was not established until the turn of the 20th century—that story by itself makes a fascinating chapter in medical history.

Jul 13 2010 | Read Full Review of The Fever: How Malaria Has Ru...

NPR

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Sonia Shah's The Fever is a compelling account of a disease that remains out of sight — and out of mind — for most Americans, even as it slowly tightens its grip on other parts of the world. The treatable disease was eradicated in the U.S. 60 years ago, but it still kills about 1 million people ...

Jul 12 2010 | Read Full Review of The Fever: How Malaria Has Ru...

The Globe and Mail

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Sonia Shah chronicles how malaria has influenced human civilization. Think mosquitoes are pestiferous now? Just wait a few decades

Aug 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Fever: How Malaria Has Ru...

Huffington Post

"The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years" (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26), by Sonia Shah: At age 7, author Sonia Shah visits her grandmother in southern India.

Jul 05 2010 | Read Full Review of The Fever: How Malaria Has Ru...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

If only they picked up The Fever, Sonia Shah's engrossing and terrifying study of "how malaria has ruled humankind for 500,000 years," the average person would soon be reduced to a pile of quivering, sentient jelly at the grim toll this incredibly bizarre parasite levies on our species.

Aug 24 2010 | Read Full Review of The Fever: How Malaria Has Ru...

The Globe and Mail

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As dismantling begins, shuttering of research station called a 'travesty' The next American auteur?

Aug 23 2012 | Read Full Review of The Fever: How Malaria Has Ru...

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