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Shortlisted for the British Sociological Association's Sociology of Health and Illness Book Prize in 2011 By the 1970s, medicine appeared to have conquered infectious diseases. A century before, newly discovered germ theory had laid the foundations for advances in vaccines and antibiotics, but deaths and illness from infectious diseases had been declining in the developed world even before this 'golden age' of medicine. Infectious diseases were perceived as archaic, and future health threats seemed to come from so-called diseases of civilization, such as heart disease and cancer. The appearance of AIDS in the early 1980s radically reversed that trend, and since then over thirty new infectious diseases have been classified, including mad cow disease and antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria, such as MRSA. Furthermore, old threats, such as tuberculosis, have re-emerged as they have become immune to established treatments. This fascinating study, now in paperback with a new preface, charts the rise of new infectious diseases and examines the cultural context and anxieties that surround their emergence, revealing the underlying social and political concerns that determine our response to disease in the twenty-first century.