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Spring 2024


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Il morbetto %28the plague%29 1941.1.76
New in The Book Beat
A Review of Preexisting Conditions

In his latest column for The Book Beat, Tom Bowden reviews Preexisting Conditions: Recounting the Plague by Samuel Weber. Click here to learn more about the book. Click here to read the full review. An excerpt appears below:

“Philosopher Samuel Weber’s Preexisting Conditions examines historical accounts of plagues written over the last two millennia, from the Bible to Camus’ The Plague. Weber holds that the degree to which a plague is effective has to do with a community’s ‘preexisting conditions’—that is, the social and environmental factors that allow plague germs to develop and spread in the first place. Nowadays, for instance, since the American healthcare industry is profit-motivated it thus tends to reject for coverage patients who already have or have already suffered from some recurring disease or its aftereffects. For Weber, this practice masks the underlying social and environmental conditions that give rise to pandemics and thus, by implication, help perpetuate such things.”