Posted by: Green Knight | January 7, 2011

Inside the Outbreaks

Those of you who have been following this blog since summer may recall me, last June, recommending a book, something I do periodically.  This one is Inside the Outbreaks: The Elite Medical Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service, by my Facebook friend Mark Pendergrast.  It’s a 60-year tour through that branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a great read about people that are extreme risk-takers for the public good.  My previous experience with Mark’s work was Mirror, Mirror, a look at the history, manufacture, folklore, and physics of those fascinating devices of narcicissm.

His stuff is always absorbing and views a topic from unexpected as well as predictable angles.  I’m pleased that Mr. Pendergrast asked me about the previous review, since the paperback version of Outbreaks is due to break out soon.  I looked at my past paragraph, found it a bit brief, so I copied him on it and wrote a (one hopes) more stylish one, shown below.  Be sure to check the book out in either form; it’s fascinating stuff!

“With his usual charm and enjoyable readability, Mark has produced a massively informative work which leaves no avenue unexplored: the science, sociology, politics, and the all-important human factor are all covered admirably.  As an environmental scientist, trainer, and ex-regulator, I learned some new and useful things, and I recommend Inside the Outbreaks highly.”

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