"The Yellow Demon of Fever" by Manuel Barcia

The Yellow Demon of Fever Fighting Disease in the Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Slave Trade Manuel Barcia

Publication date:
23 Jun 2020
Yale University Press
296 pages: 235 x 156mm
23 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

As the slave trade brought Europeans, Africans, and Americans into contact, diseases were traded along with human lives. Manuel Barcia examines the battle waged against disease, where traders and planters fought against loss of profits while enslaved Africans fought for survival. Although efforts to control disease and stop epidemics from spreading brought little success, the medical knowledge generated by slaves, slave traders, plantation owners, and doctors contributed to momentous change in the medical cultures of the Atlantic world.

Manuel Barcia is chair of global history at the University of Leeds and a recipient of the Philip Leverhulme Prize in History. He lives in Leeds, UK.

”Extraordinary. A breakthrough work, among the most insightful histories of the nineteenth century written in the past half century."—Dale Graden, University of Idaho

”This is original and well researched. It is an important contribution. I know Barcia’s work very well, and this is his best book yet.”— Paul Lovejoy, York University

The Yellow Demon of Fever is a stunning scholarly achievement. Through first-hand accounts of ordinary people caught up on all sides of the newly criminalized traffic in human beings, Manuel Barcia shows how the medical cultures of three continents vitally shaped approaches to diseases and their cures. This highly readable social history is an indispensable study for anyone interested in knowledge exchanges in the Atlantic world.”—Judith Carney, University of California, Los Angeles