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A book review of Mosquito: A Natural History of Our Most Persistent and Deadly Foe by Andrew Spielman, Sc. D. and Michael D'Antonio

A book review of Mosquito: A Natural History of Our Most Persistent and Deadly Foe by Andrew Spielman, Sc. D. and Michael D’Antonio

Stars: *****

Hyperion (2001)
256 pages

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Summary: From a world-renowned expert on mosquitoes and a prize-winning reporter comes a fascinating work of popular science — a comprehensive study of the insect itself, its role in history, and its threat to mankind.From its irritating whine to the sting and itch of its bite, the mosquito ranks near the bottom of mankind’s list of favorite creatures. But these tiny insects, once merely a seasonal annoyance, now are capturing headlines worldwide as new information emerges about the diseases they carry, their migratory population, and their growing resistance to pesticides.

Harvard professor Andrew Spielman has dedicated his life to understanding this insect, a passion that makes him the perfect guide to their amazing world and the perfect author of this lively, accessible book that offers an intriguing and horrifying mosquito-eye view of nature and man. He explains where mosquitoes breed, and how they die, showing us their natural foes and man-made enemies while explaining the myriad diseases they bring to all corners of the world. Spielman offers colorful examples of how the mosquito has insinuated itself into human history, from the defeat of Sir Francis Drake’s fleet to the death of thousands of Frenchmen working on the Panama Canal to the recent widespread West Nile panic in New York City. Filled with little-known facts and illuminating anecdotes that bring this tiny being into larger focus, Mosquito offers fascinating, alarming, and convincing evidence that the sooner we get to know this little creature, the better off we’ll be. 


I picked up this book because mosquitos love me. I’m always covered head to toe in at least 70 mosquito bites on even a weekend camping trip.

This book is VERY indepth but if you love learning science about animals/insects and about illness you will enjoy this.

It is all about the mosquito itself (anatomy and such.) Also the diseases past and present that mosquitos can carry is covered. How and when it was determined that mosquitos were responsible. It was very interesting and with the exception of a few parts, not too hard to understand.

Note: I read this in 2008 but am updating the review in 2020. Unfortunately my reviews weren’t more in depth back then so it’s not very long. But I do remember that I found this book fascinating.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.