Since the dawn of humankind, mosquitoes have been around to pester us, buzzing in an ear before selecting a blood vessel on which to feast. But these tiny, disease-transmitting bugs are more than a summertime nuisance; they’ve played a significant role in shaping our world today.
“The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator” by Timothy C. Winegard chronicles the pest’s role that it played from the fall of Rome to a rise in Christianity to how the Civil War ended.
“As the pinnacle purveyor of our extermination, the mosquito has consistently been at the front lines of history as the grim reaper, the harvester of human populations, and the ultimate agent of historical change,” writes author Timothy C. Winegard, a professor of history and political science at Colorado Mesa University.
Winegard traces the mosquito through history, starting with the dinosaurs up to present day. It’s when humans began to cultivate farm animals in close proximity about 10,000 years ago that the mosquito really flourished. With the bug’s ubiquity, it’s no surprise ancient philosophers such as Homer have touched on the mosquito’s disease.
Readers of non-fiction, history and science will enjoy Winegard’s unique take on the ever-present pest. If you can’t get away from mosquitoes in your backyard, then immerse yourself in this book and learn a new perspective on this seemingly insignificant part of summer. Tracee M. Herbaugh, AP