Man's Mastery of Malaria

by Paul F. Russell, M.D., M.P.H., of the Rockefeller Foundation, 308 pp. illustrated with frontispiece in color. London, New York, Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1955. $6.00

L. W. Hackett
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Dr. Russell begins by stating that “this is not a history of malaria.” We can excuse him, therefore, for carrying his speculations as to its origin no further back than the primates, although studies of the malaria of amphibians, reptiles and birds have long been offering us clues to some of the mysteries of the human disease which have been cleared up only in very recent years. However, history or not, it is unlikely that a more complete one will be written in our generation. It is the harvest of an immense amount of reading and research in original documents of bygone times, with reproductions of pages of some of the more interesting and less accessible ones. Few writers have gone rummaging in the past and have assembled so much lore in connection with this disease of ancient lineage and characteristic behavior. The volume of source material is immense, and the author has used a fine critical judgment in his selection.