"The caveman had wonderful exercise, fresh air, no pollution, plenty of nutrients . . . plenty of sleep, no modern-day stress, yet the typical lifespan was nineteen years."

A cross between a short story and an encyclopedia on the evolution of innovation as well as diseases faced by mankind, Husher’s work is so engaging and comprehensive that audiences of any age could find the information easily digestible. Husher’s concept of non-evolutionary death incorporates the epidemics that changed the course of history and often yielded medical advances (e.g., vaccines) from the most brilliant minds humanity had to offer. Covering the past two centuries, Husher demonstrates why the average lifespan shifted from a measly twenty-seven to the mid-seventies. From the bubonic plague and the Black Death to manmade horrors such as World War I, the author thoroughly dives into the ramifications of events that decimated the world’s population. The history of more modern virus outbreaks such as anthrax in the United States and SARS in China is also covered from a scientific perspective in addition to a socio-cultural angle.

The advent of the printing press was undoubtedly surpassed by the birth of the internet, which took communication to another level entirely. Similar to the cynical and critical reception received by the web in its infancy or vaccines to cure the world’s deadliest diseases, the opportunity to cure cancer, the modern rendition of history’s deadliest diseases to plague society, exists. As the text progresses, Husher graciously provides a disclaimer regarding the difficulty of grasping his section on DNA and RNA; however, the ease with which the author delivers clear information makes it an easy-to-understand process for readers of all levels. Entering the third decade of the twenty-first century, Husher’s focus shifts to stem cell technology and its massive benefits (if used appropriately) that range from curing HIV to eliminating diseases like cancer. Overall, the depth of research and the clarity of the presentation make for an insightful read.

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