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Lifting the Impenetrable Veil: From Yellow Fever to Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever & SARS

Lifting the Impenetrable Veil: From Yellow Fever to Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever & SARS

This book tells their communal story, the story of medical history, entomology, vector-borne diseases, virology, epidemiology and related fascinating but little recognized disciplines Interweaving his own personal stories of the strengths, weaknesses, and eccentricities of individualistic, multidisciplinary people, those who have been involved in these studies for the past more than 100 years, Calisher has written a readable and humorous memoir, full of anecdotal comments but supported by documentation and references.

History books can be boring to read but Dr. Charles Calisher has written a history of the early days of virus research that is anything but boring. His book emphasizes viruses, organization, and people, the combination which has led us to today. Using yellow fever and the virus that causes it, yellow fever virus, as an example of a disease caused by a virus transmitted by insects, Calisher takes us through the days when knowledge of these diseases was in short supply, techniques were primitive, but researchers were brilliant, innovative, and hard-working.

From Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch, to Walter Reed and Max Theiler, and then to the more recent investigators, this book shows the sequences of events, how what is discovered becomes the basis for other discoveries.

This book is readable by lay and professional people alike, and is written to provide students at any level, clinicians, educators, administrators, and societal historians with the background they need and want. The book is essential for anyone with a love of history or someone who is looking for knowledge that will put the pieces together.

February 6, 2020

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