Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Book Review! "Scourge"

Book Review- “Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox” by Jonathan B. Tucker

In Tucker’s “Scourge”, attention is heavily focused on the global eradication efforts of smallpox and the “final inch” in the campaign to rid the world of the variola virus. Though a history of the magnitude of the virus is presented in the first few chapters, Tucker relies on the names of the various actors that played roles in the WHO’s eradication campaign, the CDC’s contribution to the efforts in West Africa, and the revealing of the Soviet Union’s multiton bioterrorist activities that revolved around the dispersion of aerosolized smallpox laced bomblets. If you are more interested in the history of the development of the vaccine, or the devastating effects of smallpox throughout the centuries, then another book might fit those needs better. Tucker gives the Jenner and Lady Montagu story scant space in this book, choosing to focus more on the ongoing controversy regarding the destruction of the few stores of smallpox virus samples left in the world (Moscow, Atlanta) and the bioterrorist dangers that could arise from the variola virus. All in all, “Scourge” gives a very generalized view of the complex history of the human-specific smallpox virus, yet is rich in the post-1950s activities of smallpox eradication efforts, USSR bioterrorist threats, and the debate over destruction of the live samples of the virus.

ALSO: A new species of lichen has been named after Obama. Just a fun trivia fact-


No comments:

Post a Comment