Plagues and Peoples Book Analysis

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Plagues and Peoples Book Analysis Within the book, “Plagues and Peoples”, William H. McNeill brought up many outstanding observations. His insight shows how history was played out and recorded without even considering what disease had done in situations. He was able to use different examples throughout history to explain how parasites and humans go hand in hand. His examples were in places like China, India, and Eurasia to do so. Important changes in disease patterns have shown throughout history. The disruption of disease and life was cause by the evolution of man. This led to less frequent and more lethal outbreaks. At the beginning of the human evolution it is considered that we were part of a self-regulating balance. (Page 34) This is meaning that we were no threat to the ecosystem. We had fit in a sort of puzzle of life. We were hunters and also pray of others. Parasites did the same as they fed off of organisms. Eventually there was an evolutionary spurt called “orthogenic” that led to humans being the alpha of hunting. (Page 37) This was through the use of language and creating weapons. Mankind did not fit in the puzzle anymore. Human kind was considered a disease to other life forms by taking away their food and killing a multitude of them off. Because the parasites depended on these life forms to survive, it needed to hurt what was killing their hosts. This led to a change of parasites. They formed into diseases like sleeping sickness and were transferred through flies and the raw meat eaten by humans. (Page 38) This was lethal and would kill within a few weeks. After time, humans learned how to survive in different climates through the use of animal’s skins and fire. In the climates parasites did not react the same. William explained how hunting was different in these regions. Humans had to focus on large-bodied game animals. Eventually though,

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