This Mortal Coil A History of Death


This Mortal Coil A History of Death

SKU: 9781526624420 Category:

Temporarily out of stock

‘In this gripping book, Andrew Doig explores the fascinating biology of our own mortality and, crucially, what death can teach us about life’ Prof. Lewis Dartnell, author of Origins: How the Earth Shaped Human History

Dementia, heart failure and cancer are now the leading causes of death in industrialised nations, where life expectancy is mostly above 80. A century ago, life expectancy was about 50 and people died mainly from infectious diseases. In the Middle Ages, death was mostly caused by famine, plague, childbirth and war. In the Palaeolithic period, where our species spent 95% of its time, we frequently died from violence and accidents.

Causes of death have changed irrevocably across time. In the course of a few centuries we have gone from a world where disease or violence were likely to strike anyone at any age, and where famine could be just one bad harvest away, to one where in many countries excess food is more of a problem than a lack of it. Why is this? Why don’t we die from scurvy or smallpox any more? And why are heart attacks, Alzheimer’s and cancer so prevalent today?

This Mortal Coil explains why we died in the past, the reasons we die now and how causes of death are about to profoundly change. University of Manchester Professor Andrew Doig provides an eye-opening, global portrait of death throughout time, looking at particular causes of death – from infectious disease to genetic disease, violence to diet – who they affected, and the people who made it possible to overcome them.

ISBN: 9781526624420
Publication date: 03/02/2022
Price: $32.99
RRP: $32.99
Format: Trade Paperback
Temporarily out of stock
Publishing status: Due February
Author: Doig, Andrew
Imprint: Bloomsbury