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To Fiji with Measles

Terence Ranger: Plagues

4 February 1999
The Black Death and the Transformation of the West 
by David Herlihy.
Harvard, 117 pp., £17.95, October 1997, 0 674 07613 3
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Plague, Pox and Pestilence 
edited by Kenneth Kiple.
Weidenfeld, 176 pp., £25, January 1997, 0 297 82254 3
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Epidemics and History: Disease, Power and Imperialism 
by Sheldon Watts.
Yale, 400 pp., £30, January 1997, 0 300 07015 2
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... if not more so than in the West?’ (In the Mamluk world political control was unshaken after the plague, there was little development of agrarian technology and there were no anti-semitic pogroms.) KennethKiple’s collection, a splendidly illustrated hemlock table or coffin-side book, begins with the transition to agriculture and sedentarism in societies throughout the world and carries on by way of ...

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