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Deadly Companions: How Microbes Shaped Our History - Dorothy Crawford This book tries to answer the question of whether viruses could wipe out the human race, which I didn’t realize when I picked it to read. Dorothy Crawford does this by explaining what viruses are and the history of how they were discovered. She has some nice explanations of how viruses function, how immune systems respond to them, and the history of several diseases caused by viruses. The book was published in 2000, and the story of mad cow disease, included because of the similarity of its infective agent to viruses, seems outdated.