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Books, Journals, New Media
December 15, 2004


Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(23):2919-2924. doi:10.1001/jama.292.23.2919-b

Drawing upon his life-long collection of philatelic material, the author, a medical microbiologist, has produced a most interesting and useful book. He has used his collection of stamps, postcards, envelopes, postmarks, and other philatelic material to tell an illustrated story of medical microbiology, its notable personalities, and selected diseases.

The development of microscopy, the sanitary movement, the introduction of germ theory, concepts of contagion, the work of Pasteur and Koch, and the rise of bacteriology and immunology are the topics that introduce 20th-century immunology, antibiotics, and virology. These 70 pages are the background to specific studies of smallpox, plague, cholera, yellow fever, tuberculosis, leprosy, malaria, and other epidemic diseases ending with AIDS. In each case the early history, the scientists involved, diagnosis, and therapy are well illustrated with the author’s material, and nearly all significant scientists are commemorated.

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