Searching for: "William Rosen"

  • William Rosen

    How a seven-yearcycle of rain, cold, disease, and warfare created the worst famine in Europeanhistory In May 1315 it started to rain. It didn't stop anywhere innorth Europe until August. Next came the four coldest winters in a millennium.Two separate animal epidemics killed nearly 80 percent of northern Europe'slivestock. Wars between Scotland and England, France and Flanders, and tworival claimants to the Holy Roman Empire destroyed all remaining farmland.After seven years, the combination of lost harvests, warfare, and pestilencewould claim six million lives-one eighth of Europe's total population. William Rosen draws on a wide array of disciplines, frommilitary history to feudal law to...read more

  • William Rosen

    The epic history of how antibiotics were born, saving millions of lives and creating a vast new industry known as Big Pharma. As late as the 1930s, virtually no drug intended for sickness did any good; doctors could set bones, deliver babies, and offer palliative care. That all changed in less than a generation with the discovery and development of a new category of medicine known as antibiotics. By 1955, the age-old evolutionary relationship between humans and microbes had been transformed, trivializing once-deadly infections.      William Rosen captures this revolution with all its false starts, lucky surprises, and eccentric characters. He explains why, given the...read more

  • William Rosen

    If all measures of human advancement in the last hundred centuries were plotted on a graph, they would show an almost perfectly flat line-until the eighteenth century, when the Industrial Revolution would cause the line to shoot straight up, beginning an almost uninterrupted march of progress. In The Most Powerful Idea in the World, William Rosen tells the story of the men responsible for the Industrial Revolution and the machine that drove it-the steam engine. In the process he tackles the question that has obsessed historians ever since: What made eighteenth-century Britain such fertile soil for inventors? Rosen's answer focuses on a simple notion that had become enshrined in British law...read more

  • William Rosen

    The Emperor Justinian reunified Rome's fractured empire by defeating the Goths and Vandals who had separated Italy, Spain, and North Africa from imperial rule. At his capital in Constantinople, he built the world's most beautiful building, married its most powerful empress, and wrote its most enduring legal code, seemingly restoring Rome's fortunes for the next 500 years. Then, in the summer of 542, he encountered a flea. The ensuing outbreak of bubonic plague killed 5,000 people a day in Constantinople and nearly killed Justinian himself. Weaving together evolutionary microbiology, economics, military strategy, ecology, and ancient and modern medicine, William Rosen offers a sweeping...read more