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Harper Perennial

The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time

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"Powerful, rich with details, moving, humane, and full of important lessons for an age when weapons of mass destruction are loose among us." -- Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb

The Great Plague is one of the most compelling events in human history--even more so now, when the notion of plague has never loomed larger as a contemporary public concern.

The plague that devastated Asia and Europe in the 14th century has been of never-ending interest to both scholarly and general readers. Many books on the plague rely on statistics to tell the story: how many people died; how farm output and trade declined. But statistics can't convey what it was like to sit in Siena or Avignon and hear that a thousand people a day are dying two towns away. Or to have to chose between your own life and your duty to a mortally ill child or spouse. Or to live in a society where the bonds of blood and sentiment and law have lost all meaning, where anyone can murder or rape or plunder anyone else without fear of consequence.

In The Great Mortality, author John Kelly lends an air of immediacy and intimacy to his telling of the journey of the plague as it traveled from the steppes of Russia, across Europe, and into England, killing 75 million people--one third of the known population--before it vanished.



Author: John Kelly
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Published: 01/31/2006
Pages: 400
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.65lbs
Size: 7.86h x 5.90w x 0.97d
ISBN: 9780060006938

About the Author
Kelly, John: -

John Kelly, who holds a graduate degree in European history, is the author and coauthor of ten books on science, medicine, and human behavior, including Three on the Edge, which Publishers Weekly called the work of an expert storyteller. He lives in New York City.

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