Infections and Inequalities, by Paul Farmer

What causes disease? Is it germs? Or people? This book about the global plagues of AIDS and tuberculosis says that, in the end, people do. For the most part it is society, not microbes, that determines where infectious diseases will break out and how well those infected will fare.

When the plague hit Europe in the 14th century no one knew how to stop it. Many do know how to stop the plagues afflicting us now. Yet the question is: Will we? Infections and Inequalities shows how we can go about doing so and why it is vital for us to do so.

Paul Farmer, a physician-anthropologist, asks why medicine cares so little about the sicknesses that afflict the poor and why anthropology so frequently ignores suffering and oppression. He makes a strong case for fighting infectious disease from a radically new vantage point. Poverty and powerlessness, Farmer stresses, are the strongest pathogens on earth. His message is urgent and relevant for saving millions of lives.


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