Book cover of Pathogenesis: A History of the World in Eight Plagues by Jonathan Kennedyby Jonathan Kennedy

A “gripping” (The Washington Post) account of how the major transformations in history—from the rise of Homo sapiens to the birth of capitalism—have been shaped not by humans but by germs

“Superbly written . . . Kennedy seamlessly weaves together scientific and historical research, and his confident authorial voice is sure to please readers of Yuval Noah Harari or Rutger Bregman.”—The Times (U.K.)

According to the accepted narrative of progress, humans have thrived thanks to their brains and brawn, collectively bending the arc of history. But in this revelatory book, Professor Jonathan Kennedy argues that the myth of human exceptionalism overstates the role that we play in social and political change. Instead, it is the humble microbe that wins wars and topples empires.

Interview with the Author

Podcast art of The Jordan Harbinger ShowThe Jordan Harbinger Show 
875: Jonathan Kennedy | How Pathogens Have Shaped Our World
8/8/23         84 min

Podcast art for History ExtraHistory Extra 
How germs shaped human history
6/26/23           42 min

Podcast art for History UnpluggedHistory Unplugged
Pandemics Cause Misery and Death, But They Also Created Agriculture and Put Humans on Top of the Food Chain
6/1/23            50 min

Podcast art for Instant Genius a Science Focus PodcastInstant Genius 
How human disease changed history, with Dr Jonathan Kennedy
4/2/23          30 min

Podcast art for The Penguin PodcastThe Penguin Podcast 
Jonathan Kennedy with Isy Suttie
4/18/23           42 min

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