back arrowView show

Plagues and Peoples, by William McNeill

Episode description

The history of disease demonstrates both the accidental nature of history and the triumph of human reason that can enable us to gain some control over our fate; most of us no longer suffer the death of half our children, among other nightmares. William McNeill’s book, Plagues and Peoples, was the first comprehensive history to capture this balance, and after more than 40 years it remains one of the most insightful narratives on how disease has both shaped and been shaped by civilization.

You can access all episodes of Context ad-free along with bonus content by supporting the show on Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/context or through the website at https://bradharris.com 

episodes iconMore Episodes

The Two Cultures, by C. P. Snow

November 21st, 2018

28:24

The Two Cultures by C. P. Snow was one of the most influential lectures of the 20th century, triggering an intense epistemological debate within …

Merchants of Doubt, by Naomi Oreskes & Erik Conway

October 30th, 2018

41:07

Merchants of Doubt is not just a book about how illusions of scientific controversy have been constructed, it’s also about the people who constructed them, and its most shocking revelation is that the very same people …

Galileo's Finger: The Ten Great Ideas of Science, by Peter Atkins

October 8th, 2018

55:52

If civilization collapsed, and our descendants could rediscover a single work to get humanity back on track scientifically and technologically, Peter …

Evolution's Other Narrative

September 17th, 2018

28:34

In this episode, we're shifting gears and I'll read an article that I published in 2013 in the journal American Scientist called "Evolution's Other …

1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, by Charles Mann

August 20th, 2018

40:39

In 1493, Charles Mann shows us how Europeans emerged at the center of a modern, globalized world by establishing the Columbian Exchange; a system …

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, by Jack Weatherford

August 6th, 2018

38:25

Genghis Khan was so influential that, to understand how Europe began to shake off its medieval provincialism, how the Islamic world lost much of its …

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas Kuhn

July 24th, 2018

24:20

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is a classic in the history of science, and one of the most cited books of the twentieth century. Thomas Kuhn …

Scientific Culture and the Making of the Industrial West, by Margaret Jacob

July 10th, 2018

32:58

Margaret Jacob’s book helps us understand how scientific knowledge became integrated into the culture of Europe through the 1600s and 1700s, and how …

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, by David Landes

June 26th, 2018

36:52

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations was published by David Landes in 1998, and it has occupied a preeminent place on the bookshelves of scholars ever …

Loading ...

Download the RadioPublic app for
 FREE and never miss an episode.

Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store