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The Mosquito

A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator
Auteur(s): Timothy C. Winegard
Narrateur(s): Mark Deakins
Durée: 19 h et 7 min
Catégories: Histoire, Monde
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 évaluations)

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Description

The instant New York Times best seller

An international best seller

"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.

©2019 Timothy C. Winegard (P)2019 Penguin Audio

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Moyenne des évaluations de clients

Au global

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Histoire

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Il n'y a pas encore de critiques disponibles pour ce livre audio.
Trier :
  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • CAS
  • 2019-08-15

Needs editing

Some good material but way too much repetition. 'The mosquito did X. When the mosquto did X, Y happened. Previous clause unnecessarily repeated. Needs basic editing and shortening.

9 personnes sur 10 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • NLSharp1943
  • 2019-08-17

What a great education!

The near total integration of the mosquito and humanity is a fastening story, which, in my opinion should be understood by all persons in search of life on earth!

Being well written and narrated added to the experience!

6 personnes sur 7 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-09-02

Major Disappointment

This was an extremely disappointing book. What I'd hoped would be a revelatory work on epidemiology and anthropology was quickly discovered to be a florid, Western/American-centric military history, with some cultural and social trappings thrown in for good measure. A promising opening few chapters drew me in, but by the time I hit chapter 3 or so, the whole story started to feel like a grind. Almost every chapter focused on some military campaign or other, almost to the exclusion of other considerations. Where you might have expected to learn how South Asian cultures grew and evolved alongside mosquitoes and their tropical diseases, or what ancient China did about malaria (beyond the author's small mention of some traditional Chinese medical treatments), you instead get a march through Western military history from the Peloponnesian War to WWII. Often, campaigns are recounted in some detail, for the paragraph to end with "And the soldiers were being eaten by mosquitoes all the while."

The few bright spots in the book were also riven with obnoxious anthromorphizations of the mosquito as "General Anopheles." Cute the first time, it quickly grated on me. Furthermore, many of the elaborate metaphors felt misleading, if not wrong. "The parched mosquito" feasted on the "virgin blood" of Mongol warriors in Eastern Europe, for example. Why "parched"? Had mosquitoes not been feasting on Hungarians and Poles and were they abnormally malnourished? Why "virgin blood"? Had the Mongols not encountered malaria up to that point? Were these fresh young troops recruited from the north Caucasus or Kazakhstan where malaria was scarce? No explanation for this type of word choice exists. Instead, it feels like the author wrote this book with a thesaurus close at hand, thumbing through it for substitutes and alliterative synonyms that distracted from the message or gave false impressions; while "contagion" is a loose synonym for "disease," it doesn't describe malaria, which is not contagious.

Another frustration is the Euro-American focus of the book. Famously, European conquest of Africa was perennially thwarted by tropical disease. I (wrongly) assumed that the chapter on "Expansion and Imperialism," following the entire chapter devoted to the US Civil War, would involve the scramble for Africa and how Europe was finally able to conquer the continent. Nope. Instead, the Spanish-American War and the occupations of the Philippines and Hawaii took up most of the chapter. The Panama canal gets a deserved mention, but Africa and South East Asia only received a few paragraphs' nod.

Unfortunately, the book reads like a wikipedia page, replete with tangential anecdotes about pop culture and bizarre time jumps (Pay close attention to which World War is being discussed sentence to sentence) as the author tries to organize his thoughts. This book could have used a few more edits and a major expansion of its focus if it really wants to be "A Human History" of the mosquito. When the author admits in the intro that he is an historian, not an entomologist or epidemiologist, take heed. Even then, he seems like a superficial historian, at best.

If you're "famished" for a book about the impact of mosquitoes on human history, I suggest you look elsewhere.

5 personnes sur 6 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Scot
  • 2019-08-26

A Bit of A Disappointment

I was very excited to listen to this book and I was thrilled that is so quickly came to Audible. The first 30 minutes were incredibly interesting and then .... it quickly became dull as dishwater with only a few interesting breaks in the last 18 hours of the book. The issue, to me, was the fact that for 2/3 of the book, the mosquito is not even a character - the book is merely a very very cursory history of major world conflicts. Also, very disappointedly, the book makes some very general assumptions and does NOT go into detail explaining them. A big example of this is the concept of 'seasoning' that makes people who have been exposed to malaria less likely to have (severe) symptoms in the future. While this word was used hundreds of times, never was it explained what physiologically happens in a human's body to become 'seasoned' to malaria. This is particularly grating when so much of the book was wasted on a non-mosquito general history. On a positive note, the narrator deserves a 10+ for his performance. Sadly, I can not recommend this book.

1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • PhoenixGS
  • 2019-09-12

BUZZZZ......

Fascinating trip through history interweaving human survival against the mosquito. Would highly recommend for both history Buffs and those that don't like mosquitoes.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-09-07

Brilliant!

Whom has never encountered a mosquito? Keep on the headphones... This book does not disappoint.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Elkobri
  • 2019-09-07

long on stories

This book brings mosquitos to the front of historical considerations. He gives ample evidence to support this argument. I wish he would have spent more time on the adaptive evolution of people in Africa who had to live with yellow fever and malaria for thousands of years. After a while the stories seem to repeat themselves with themes of war, loss of life, more war and more loss of life. But after a number of those stories one begins to experience a deeper respect for the mosquito born illnesses which we never quite rid ourselves of.

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Sam Z
  • 2019-08-29

Good book with some different title

I am not saying abolitionism isn’t important and interesting topic, but there is just too much of it in this book. Writer gets continually lost in side tracks and loves repetition.

1 personnes sur 2 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • David Maher
  • 2019-08-18

Anxious about awful alliteration

Seriously somebody please burn Deakins' thesaurus. The content is interesting, but the constant alliteration and unnecessarily flowery verbage is really distracting

3 personnes sur 6 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente