Feature

Susan Hunter

HIV/AIDS expert Susan Hunter is the author of Black Death: AIDS in Africa and Reshaping Societies. Her latest book, AIDS in Asia, was published in January by Palgrave/Macmillan.

Betrayal of Trust by Laurie Garrett (Hyperion, $18). Garrett was among the first to warn us of the threat of new global epidemics, with her 1994 book, The Coming Plague. In 2000, Betrayal of Trust exposed the growing trend of political incompetence and hubris that compounds our inability to deal with our insidious disease foes. Garrett consistently makes great reading for anyone who doesn’t want to sleep at night. Buy it at Amazon.com

Plague Time by Paul Ewald (Anchor, $13). I never knew germs were so smart! This book’s easy-going text opened my eyes to the long-term danger posed by HIV/AIDS, and it also explains why the newly identified drug-resistant HIV strain in New York and San Francisco is so terrifying. How it is that Ewald hasn’t received a Nobel Prize yet is way beyond me.Buy it at Amazon.com

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay Books, $15). This model of clarity in nonfiction prose highlights the epidemic nature of both good behavior and bad. A page-turner that could point us toward the solutions we need in dealing with seemingly intransigent social problems.Buy it at Amazon.com

Plagues and Peoples by William McNeill (Anchor, $15). A classic in public health and history, this 1992 book was the first to explain the interaction between disease and society. It is my model for connecting the dots between human choices and disease consequences, and for eminently readable serious nonfiction. The facts flow like honey.Buy it at Amazon.com

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (Vintage, $15). If you can’t get to a developing country to see how poverty destroys dignity in even the most honorable human souls, read this novel about a boardinghouse in 1970s India and reconsider your politics. A latter-day Grapes of Wrath.Buy it at Amazon.com

The River

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