Daily Archives: May 21, 2016

Health and the Rise of Civilization

Civilized nations popularly assume that “primitive” societies are poor, ill, and malnourished and that progress through civilization automatically implies improved health. In this provocative new book, Mark Nathan Cohen challenges this belief. Using evidence from epidemiology, anthropology, and archaeology, Cohen provides fascinating evidence about the actual effects of civilization on health, suggesting that some aspects of civilization create as many health problems as they prevent or cure. “[This book] is certain to become a classic-a prominent and respected source on this subject for years into the future. . . .

If you want to read something that will make you think, reflect and reconsider, Cohen’s Health and the Rise of Civilization is for you.”-S. Boyd Eaton, Los Angeles Times Book Review “A major accomplishment. Cohen is a broad and original thinker who states his views in direct and accessible prose. . . . This is a book that should be read by everyone interested in disease, civilization, and the human condition.”-David Courtwright, Journal of the History of Medicine “Deserves to be read by anthropologists concerned with health, medical personnel responsible for communities, and any medical anthropologists whose minds are not too case-hardened. Indeed, it could provide great profit and entertainment to the general reader.”-George T. Nurse, Current Anthropology “Cohen has done his homework extraordinarily well, and the coverage of the biomedical, nutritional, demographic, and ethnographic literature about foragers and low energy agriculturists is excellent.

The subject of culture and health is near the core of a lot of areas of archaeology and ethnology as well as demography, development economics, and so on. The book deserves a wide readership and a central place in our professional libraries. As a scholarly summary it is without parallel.”-Henry Harpending, American Ethnologist

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Malaria and Rome: A History of Malaria in Ancient Italy: Robert Sallares

Malaria and Rome is the first comprehensive book on the history of malaria in Roman Italy. Aimed at an interdisciplinary readership, it explores the evolution and ecology of malaria, its medical and demographic effects on human populations in antiquity, its social and economic effects, the human responses to it, and the human interpretations of it.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice
Public Health

Dr. Michael Mann on Dying Oceans & Intense Fires


The Big Picture RT

Published on May 10, 2016

Dr. Michael Mann, Earth System Science Center-Penn State University/Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change (2nd edition) joins Thom. The oceans are literally starving now. Plus the Fires in Canada – Is this a preview of what the future will look like if we don’t do something right now to stop climate change?

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados

Ligon’s True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados is the most significant book-length English text written about the Caribbean in the seventeenth century. [It] allows one to see the contested process behind the making of the Caribbean sugar/African slavery complex. Kupperman is one of the leading scholars of the early modern Atlantic world. . . . I cannot think of any scholar better prepared to write an Introduction that places Ligon, his text, and Barbados in an Atlantic historical context. The Introduction is quite thorough, readable, and accurate; the notes [are] exemplary! –Susan Parrish, University of Michigan

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Cultures of Natural History: N. Jardine, J. A. Secord, E. C. Spary

This lavishly illustrated volume is the first systematic general work to do justice to the fruits of recent scholarship in the history of natural history. Public interest in this lively field has been stimulated by environmental concerns and through links with the histories of art, collecting and gardening. Twenty-four essays, written at an accessible level, cover the period from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. The book includes suggestions for further reading, and highlights the relevance of history for current debates on museum practice, ecological diversity, and the environment.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

100 Questions (and Answers) About Qualitative Research

100 Questions (and Answers) About Qualitative Research, by Lisa M. Given, addresses the practical decisions that researchers must make in their work, from the design of the study, through ethics approval, implementation, and writing. The book’s quick-scan, question-and-answer format make it ideal as a supplementary text or as a ready reference for graduate students preparing for comprehensive exams and writing research proposals, undergraduates in affiliated programs who will not be taking a primary course in qualitative research methods, and researchers working across disciplines in academic or practice environments.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Patient Zero – Radiolab

(Eneas De Troya/flickr/CC-BY-2.0)

The greatest mysteries have a shadowy figure at the center—someone who sets things in motion and holds the key to how the story unfolds. In epidemiology, this central character is known as Patient Zero—the case at the heart of an outbreak. This hour, Radiolab hunts for Patient Zeroes from all over the map.

We start with the story of perhaps the most iconic Patient Zero of all time: Typhoid Mary. Then, we dive into a molecular detective story to pinpoint the beginning of the AIDS, and we re-imagine the moment the virus that caused the global pandemic sprang to life. After that, we’re left wondering if you can trace the spread of an idea the way you can trace the spread of a disease. In the end, we find ourselves faced with a choice between competing claims about the origin of the high five. And we come to a perfectly sensible, thoroughly disturbing conclusion about the nature of the universe … all by way of the cowboy hat.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice
Food-Matters
Public Health