From the bubonic plague to theoretical pathogens on other worlds, a sweeping look at the past, present, and future of mass infections—and how we battle them.
In this panoramic and up-to-date account, we learn how the Black Death, smallpox, the 1918 influenza pandemic, and other great epidemics have not only led to enormous suffering and mass death but have also contributed to the fall of empires and changed the course of history. We also discover how new infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 emerge—and how we wage war against them.
Humanity has struck back at the microbes: antibiotics and new vaccines have saved millions of lives. But the battle with these relentless, silent enemies is far from won. We face increasing threats from new and unavoidable pandemics, antibiotic resistance, and even potential extraterrestrial microbes. Duel Without End is a fascinating journey through the long history of infection, from the dawn of life to humanity’s future exploration of deep space.
About the Author
Stig S. Frøland is professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Oslo. He is a specialist in infectious diseases and immunology and author of two books in Norwegian on HIV/AIDS.
John Irons has been a translator of Norwegian and many other languages since 1987. He lives in Odense, Denmark.
"In Duel Without End, Frøland explores the never-ending struggle between humans and microbes in a fascinating voyage of discovery, breakthroughs, and setbacks. . . . The writing is superb, providing a wealth of detail but keeping a fast pace and a sense of humor—with pop culture references aplenty. . . . But what truly sets this book apart is that it is written not by a historian, but by a professor of medicine who specializes in infectious diseases. It brings a lifetime of medical knowledge to a history book, and creates a middle way between art and science. . . . It is informative, original, and refreshing, and the strongest argument for interdisciplinary working that I have seen."
— Get History
"A masterpiece on man’s battle with microbes. . . . Every page gives a wealth of new information on the history of man from the perspective of infectious diseases. If you only buy a single book this year, buy this one. It will change your view on world history for ever."
— Elin Ørjasæter
"Frøland takes us on a fascinating journey through hundreds of thousands of years, from the dawn of humanity to the exploration of space. The book contains a wealth of interesting information and historical descriptions which makes it both easy to read and thrilling. It is difficult to put it down."
— Bård Hauge
"An exciting, interesting, and thorough survey of the battle with microbes throughout our entire history . . . [written in] elegant and accessible language which is comprehensible to everyone. . . . A magnificent work."
— Håkon Sjursen, professor of infectious diseases, University of Bergen
"An excellent book on the large pandemics through history. . . . Demonstrates in a brilliant way how modern biomedical research has contributed to the battle against microbes."
— Nils Chr. Stenseth, professor of ecology and evolution, University of Oslo, and Albert Einstein Professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences