In the foreword of this book, Professor Hoeppli gives his motivation and approach to the study of the parasitic diseases in Africa and the Western Hemisphere as follows: “Numerous diseases caused by zooparasites play an important role in Africa and occur likewise in the Western Hemisphere, especially in Central and South America and the West Indies. It is of considerable interest to know which of these diseases occurred in pre-Columbian America and which were introduced by the slave trade. Early documentation of parasitic diseases in Africa and the Western Hemisphere and information obtained by the study of the slave trade are means to answer this difficult question.”
The book is divided into three parts. In Part One, different kinds of early documentation are pointed out, and a brief outline of the slave trade is given. In Part Two, the main subject—the early documentation of parasitic diseases in Africa and the New World and their transmission by the slave trade—is dealt with.