Captain of Death

Captain of Death

The Story of Tuberculosis

Thomas M. Daniel


University of Rochester Press



A comprehensive examination of TB. CHOICE Outstanding Academic Book Award 1998.
The dramatic story of tuberculosis is told here in a straightforward and accessible style. It presents the stories of persons connected with the disease, either as victims, or as those who made contributions to our knowledge of it; in addition to these personal accounts, the book unfolds the history and explains the pathogenesis of TB.
The re-emergence of tuberculosis as a major American public health hazard has focused much attention on this ancient disease. This book offers a comprehensive account of the disease from prehistoric times through to the present day, detailing the attempts to eradicate it completely. Its four separate sections (the spread of tuberculosis; its infectious nature; susceptibility to it; and methods of treatment) are linked through the device of presenting individuals' particular experience of the disease, whether as as victims, or as those who made contributions to our knowledge of it; in between these vignettes, the book unfolds the history and explains the pathogenesis of TB.
A detailed medical glossary completes the volume.

Thomas M. Daniel is Emeritus Professor of Medicine and International Health and Director of the Center for International Health at Case Western Reserve University.


4 black and white illustrations
303 pages
22.8x15.4 in
Paperback, 9781580460705, May 1999
Hardback, 9781878822963, December 1997
Library eBook
University of Rochester Press
BISAC MED039000, MED022090, SOC057000
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Table of Contents

An Egyptian Girl: A Peruvian Boy
Kos, Alexandria, and Rome
The Middle Ages and Beyond
The Relentless Tide
The Hope for Eradication
The Failed Conquest
Robert Koch and the Tubercle Bacillus
A Distinctly Preventable Disease
Two Men of Letters
Brownish Transparent Liquid
A Family Affair
Bacille Calmette-Guerin
Four Cornerposts of Science
The Cursed Duet
Wolf's Liver and Sea Voyages
False Hope
Places Apart
Collapse and Mutilation
Magic Bullet
Microbe Killers
One One-Hundredth of an Ounce of Prevention
Hope in Haiti


Daniel's Captain of Death: The Story of Tuberculosis gives a fine introduction to the fascinating history of the disease, told in an unusually friendly manner. Daniel successfully communicates his love of the subject. . . and his literary style will pull the reader along effortlessly. Daniel's profound commitment to his subject is apparent. NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE, Oct. 1998

Entertaining and instructive. . . the book (is) readily accessible to the lay public. SOUTH AFRICAN MEDICAL TIMES

Daniel's description of the modern accounts of the bio-medical response to the disease is the most compelling part of the story. AMERICAN J. OF HUMAN BIOLOGY, Vol. 11

The clarity and intelligence with which Daniel deploys his scientific knowledge to make the science of tuberculosis accessible to the general reader make this book both enjoyable and instructive. MEDICAL HISTORY

This beautifully written and thoroughly researched monograph. . . traces the history of TB from prehistory through today. It is both synoptic and chronologic in approach, and always logical and readable. CHOICE, June 1998

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