My rating: 5 of 5 stars
As is usually the case, I received this book free. Unfortunately, I’m unable to determine the source of that freeness but suffice to say it came in the mail specifically for my review.
Typically, I review books based on qualitative properties, but in this case it’s not really necessary. The book is sharp, thorough, professional and detailed. There’s no real need to go into specifics about that. The more important thing to say may be to discuss exactly what this book is.
Topically, the book is a fairly even split between science and history. The author goes into a surprisingly great depth about the science involved and readers are encouraged to take notes along the way to make sure they keep up properly. This is no pop-science read; it expects readers to be as sharp and keep up. New terms are defined when used but typically just once and there’s no fear in the writer about delving into technicalities.
On the historical side, the dozens of professionals involved are described in terms of their specific contributions and once those are complete, they step aside and are never heard from again. While there is a strong biographical component, it’s really a biography of a disease rather than any of the people involved.
In summary, a painstakingly thorough treatment of an important topic but not for the faint of heart with reams of detailed technical information