The Mosquito by Timothy C. Winegard

The Mosquito

A pioneering and groundbreaking work of narrative nonfiction that offers a dramatic new perspective on the history of humankind, showing how through millennia, the mosquito has been the single most powerful force in determining humanity's fateWhy was gin and tonic the cocktail of choice for British colonists in India and Africa? What does Starbucks have to thank for its global domination? What has protected the lives of popes for millennia? Why d...

Details The Mosquito

TitleThe Mosquito
Release DateAug 6th, 2019
PublisherAllen Lane
GenreNonfiction, History, Science, Environment, Nature, Biology, Animals, Health

Reviews The Mosquito

  • Raughley Nuzzi
    This was an extremely disappointing book. What I'd hoped would be a revelatory work on epidemiology and anthropology was quickly discovered to be a florid, Western/American-centric military history, with some cultural and social trappings thrown in for good measure. A promising opening few chapters drew me in, but by the time I hit chapter 3 or so, the whole story started to feel like a grind. Almost every chapter focused on some military campaig...
  • Nicole von Buelow
    More like a long book about military history with malaria thrown in
  • Steve
    Interesting but meandersI enjoyed this book. As Timothy Winegard mentions, this is more of a history book than a science book, however what little science there is, is clearly explained. Winegard shows a good sense of humor in his writing, but otherwise I found his writing slighted stilted and lacking the conversational tone I like in science writing. I also found that the book took long irrelevant detours through history, so there were pages I j...
  • Keen
    2.5 Stars!“The mosquito has killed more people than any other cause of death in human history. Statistical extrapolation situates mosquito-inflicted deaths approaching half of all humans that have ever lived.”OK so let’s get something clear from the off, this is not a book about the mosquito. It is a book of detailed and often exhausting historical and military events throughout history with the mosquito’s part in it, shoe horned in retro...
  • Jennifer M.
    The Mosquito is a compilation of sorts. It not only tells the history of mosquitoes and the damage they have done throughout the centuries, but also how we got to where society and culture is, based on this annoying little bug. The book includes pictures of different types of mosquitoes, what sort of attributes to look for, etc.I found this book fascinating. There were so many things I didn't realize that history was shaped by, one of which being...
  • Barry
    Interesting political and military history but sadly light on natural history and science. Gratuitously breezy writing, an annoying overabundance of contemporary cultural references, and an unmitigated tendency to attribute volition to insects and microbes alike all detract from what is clearly a deeply researched narrative.
  • Melanie Ullrich
    Super interesting book when it wasn't an in depth world history lesson...which was most of it unfortunately.
  • Scott Martin
    (Audiobook) Before reading this book, I would often think of the mosquito as the spawn of Satan, with its annoyance, its relentless biting and all that mosquito bites lead to as far as disease. After reading this book, I no longer think of the mosquito as the spawn of Satan...that bug IS Satan! I am seriously wondering if we didn’t mis-translate the Bible, that is was not the serpent that lead to man’s downfall, but the mosquito. It is said t...
  • Kat
    An important thing to keep in mind before reading further:This book is not a biology/parasitology/virology/epidemiology book. This is a history book (it says so on the front cover) written by a history professor (it says so on the back cover). The author uses the mosquito to shed light on historical events and how the mosquito with the diseases it transmits may have influenced them and therefore history. The book starts out recounting historical ...
  • Behrak
    Could not finish this and quit half way.My issues with it:- Starts very poorly as far as I am concerned... I am Zoroastrian. Calling Zoroastrians at the very beginning "fire-worshipping" (one of only a few epithets used in total to describe them) is: (a) insulting, (b) incorrect and debunked numerous times throughout history and (c) betrays an obvious lack or knowledge or research or both... or worse, some unclear, unknown racist bias.- With that...
  • Jill Elizabeth
    What a fascinating book this was!! I kept reading/reciting the facts aloud to whomever was in the room or nearby when I read - there are so many intriguing and surprising things to learn here, that I felt compelled to share them. It took me a while to read - it's long and there's a LOT of information here, but it is packaged very well, although I did occasionally find that I needed to take a short break for something a little less death-and-disea...
  • Lelietje
    I hoped this book would offer an extraordinary perspective on history. It turned out to be a predominantly military history of the (western) world and the influence of mosquito-borne diseases like yellow fever, dengue and malaria on it. Unfortunately light on epidemiology and pathology.
  • Nemo Nemo
    About the Author:Dr. Timothy C. Winegard is a military historian who graduated from Oxford University with a PhD and is currently a professor of history and political science at Colorado Mesa University. He is best known for his works on military history however, he has written on the subject of indigenous studies. Before becoming a best-selling writer, Dr. Winegard worked as a military officer with his native Canadians and later the British forc...
  • J.L. Slipak
    MY THOUGHTS:I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.What a fascinating read!I loved the idea that one small bug could affect history so much and in such incredible ways. If you think about it, humans have always claimed to be at the top of the food chain; we're the dominant species over all else. But, we really aren't, are we? So many diseases and plagues have been attributed to the smallest of threats, things even humans can't wit...
  • Amber Spencer
    This was an interesting book. I was really into parts and was bored and wondering where things were going at other parts. Debating between 3-4 stars.
  • Porter Broyles
    When reading Mark Kurlansky's books Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World and Paper: Paging Through History, Kurlansky explores the history, mythology, art, science, history, etc of the subject. Kulansky discusses these subjects from a global perspective. This creates fun interesting books. Winegard’s book is more serious---and limited in approach. The mosquito is the deadliest predator because of mosquito borne diseases. Malaria,...
  • Wanda Ruzanski
    This book is a very good overview of the mosquito's effect on history, with the warning that it is written for the general reader (me) as opposed to anyone working on the problems of vector-borne diseases, or the like.Winegard starts with the mosquito how she delivers her toxic load into her victim. Her proboscis has six different parts. Who knew? He then goes on to explore sickle cell anemia and how it changed the population patterns of Africa. ...
  • Isamar Cortes
    Very fascinating read. If you’re into epidemiology, disease and history, then this is definitely the book for you. Starting from biblical times all way up to modern day, this book covers the history of the mosquito and how it affects humans.
  • Jeimy
    Dense but fascinating!
  • Angelique Simonsen
    Definitely worth a read. Amazing how this book is a simplified history too but I guess humans and mozzies just go together lol
  • Martin Kilkenny
    Excellent. Makes you think differently about many historical events. It was all about the mosquito
  • Christopher Kennedy
    Timothy Winegard offers a unique and incredibly articulate perspective on the history of humankind pertaining to the mosquito. He charts the impact that the mosquito has had on the outcomes of major events, including the fall of ancient empires and the American Civil War, successfully arguing that the mosquito has changed the course of history. Winegards breadth of knowledge is something to be admired.
  • Justin
    Received the arc from Netgalley for free in exchange for a review.You can find my full review here:
  • Sheree | Keeping Up With The Penguins
    If you like your non-fiction niche, but comprehensive, I’ve got the book for you! The Mosquito, by Timothy C. Winegard, offers a new perspective on the whole of human history, told through those buzzy critters that ruin every sunset barbecue. Text Publishing was kind enough to send me a copy for review, and I wish they’d sent a reminder to warn everyone in my life that they were about to get hit with a barrage of mosquito-related fun facts.On...
  • Eriche Sarvay
    Far too Eurocentric for my tastes, a rehashing if US history from a white male perspective with a few attempts to not be so anxiously and repetitively solipsistic about the white male perspective. Honestly couldn’t finish it and I say this with a heavy heart because I wanted to finish the book so badly. The first 2 chapters were great but I honestly don’t need another retelling of American history from the delusional perspective of various pu...
  • Judy Masters
    Just a little too much credit to the Mosquito. It was too far fetched to think mosquitoes have changed the course of history. Smh.
  • Nancy
    The Outsize Role of the Mosquito in the Sweep of Human HistoryFor a tiny insect the mosquito has had a major role in shaping human history. Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever, Malaria, West Nile Virus, and other diseases are caused by agents injected into the human host by one or another of the species of mosquitoes in the environment. The early chapters of the book give a graphic description of the diseases and suffering. It makes you want to wear prote...
  • Dennis Hogan
    Finished The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator by Timothy C. Winegard, a non-fiction gem. Winegard adds a unique vision of historical events impacted by disease spread by mosquitoes from antiquity. I was particularly taken by the notion that slavery flourished in the Caribbean and American south because a genetic adaption (sickle cell) allowed Africans to survive deadly malaria and yellow fever epidemics that killed European set...
  • Collin Lysford
    The book I read before this one was The Weather Machine: A Journey Inside the ForecastThe Weather Machine: A Journey Inside the Forecast, and I noted in my review that the book was well-written but ultimately just far too fluffy to be super enjoyable. Funny enough, this is another history that has exactly the opposite problem. This book is stuffed full of detail, and I really did learn a lot, even as someone who's read a number of books in this s...
  • Dree
    This is a history book. There are a lot of bad reviews here on GR complaining that the book is not science. This is not a secret, see the title. It is not a science book. It isn't even really a history of science book, though that is a bit of an undercurrent in several of the chapters. This is a thoroughly researched history of the mosquito's effects on world history, through their disease vectoring, especially of malaria and yellow fever. Winega...