The Black Death and the Transformation of the West

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Harvard University Press, Sep 28, 1997 - 117 pages
2 Reviews
The Black Death was the great watershed in medieval history. In this compact book, David Herlihy makes bold yet subtle and subversive inquiries that challenge historical thinking about this disastrous period. As in a finely tuned detective story, he upturns intriguing bits of epidemiological evidence. And, looking beyond the view of the Black Death as unmitigated catastrophe, Herlihy sees in it the birth of technological advance as societies struggled to create labor-saving devices in the wake of population losses. New evidence for the plague's role in the establishment of universities, the spread of Christianity, the dissemination of vernacular cultures, and even the rise of nationalism demonstrates that this cataclysmic event marked a true turning point in history.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - br77rino - LibraryThing

A good, short review (~200 pages) of the Black Death of the late 1340's, written in 1985. Herlihy makes the point that the actual culprit microbe is unknown. It could be Y. pestis, or it could be ... Read full review

THE BLACK DEATH AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE WEST

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Bold, novel theories, sure to be controversial, about the medieval pandemic known as the Black Death, by late Brown University historian Herlihy. The European pestilence (dubbed the Black Death ... Read full review

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About the author (1997)

David Herlihy (d. 1991) was Barnaby Conrad and Mary Critchfield Keeney Professor and Professor of History at Brown University.

Samuel K. Cohn, Jr., is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Glasgow. Among his books are The Cult of Remembrance and the Black Death and Women in the Streets: Essays on Sex and Power in the Italian Renaissance.

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