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Historical Ecology of Malaria in Ethiopia

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction Malaria's Metaphor A Chess Game or a Square Dance Chapter One Ethiopia's Malaria in the Age of "the Bark" Chapter Two Mindscapes of Malaria Miasma in Two Worlds Chapter Three Flight of the Valkyries Malaria Ecology in the Headwaters of the Nile Chapter Four Tragedy of the Jeep, 1958-1991 Hope and the Return to the Drawing Board Chapter Five Malaria Modern 1998, the Shivering Fever Reborn Chapter Six She Sings A Mosquito's-Eye View of Malaria Epilogue The Dance Continues Eradication, Vaccine, and Malaria's Ecology of Persistence Afterword: Rosa's Story Notes Bibliography Index

About the Author

James C. McCann is a professor of history and chair of the Department of Archaeology at Boston University. He is winner of a John S. Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2014 Distinguished Scholar of the American Society of Environmental History.


"McCann writes history with an ethnographic sensibility and a solid grasp of the science. His delightful turn of phrase and accessible writing style make this work an enjoyable read for specialists and non-specialists alike. ... [He] eloquently describes the social, economic and political disturbances central to malaria's success, beautifully explains the distinctiveness of this infectious disease, and sensitively links science with illness narratives. ...Readers will be left not just knowing more about Ethiopia and malaria, but with an analytical framework with which to enquire about malaria in other locations as well." "Amid renewed calls for global malaria eradication, historian James C. McCann delivers a timely reminder of the complexity and resilience of malaria. His argument concerns interdisciplinarity, humility and scale. ... McCann's unique accomplishment is the incorporation of a sophisticated and complex biomedical hypothesis of modern malaria epidemiology into a nuanced historical and cultural narrative. ... It will be useful for students of public health and its history." "This thorough country history ... explores malaria's etiology, effects, and the challenges of minimizing, if not controlling, its impact. Historian McCann draws on decades of Ethiopian field experience and familiarity with its historical sources. ... Fascinating anecdotes reveal local disease understandings, often blaming malign spirits (hence the subtitle). ...Malaria severely challenges public health, but this study will aid the struggle. Summing Up: Recommended." "McCann's work is truly a must-read for experts in many fields, from public health, agriculture, and history, to politics and development. This book is a brilliant demonstration of the deeply local and highly adaptable nature of disease and mortality, and the ways in which the historical ecology of disease effects household decision-making and trends in food production and economic development on a national scale." "This is one of the most important books written on Africa in the last ten years-indeed, in any ten years. If this book does not win a prize, then there is truly no justice....A superb topic, handled here by an accomplished historian at the peak of his powers...The epilogue is simply magnificent. Sparse, almost curt, it makes the case with blinding clarity...The past lives with us. The future is about adaptability, not progress." -- David M. Anderson, University of Warwick

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