Disease Selection: The Way Disease Changed the World
The Way Disease Changed the World by Roger Webber is written in the tradition of Rats, Lice and History by Hans Zinsser; Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared M. Diamond; and Viruses, Plagues, and History by Michael B.A. Oldstone. These volumes focus on the role of diseases, particularly infectious diseases, in history.

Compared with the others, however, Dr. Webber’s book is more focused on the effects of diseases on natural selection and evolution. These factors sometimes work in parallel and sometimes in opposition but always in highly complex and often unpredictable ways. The book is clearly written for a knowledgeable lay audience, a difficult task when covering evolution, microbiology, a wide variety of diseases and modes of their transmission, and immunologic responses to those diseases....