AP World History
1 November 2012
AP World History Book Report
Summary: The Black Death, by Philip Ziegler, covers the epidemic that spread throughout Eurasia around 1348. The book mostly focuses on England and how the disease affected this area. The book also covers other portions of Europe such as France, Italy, and Germany but not as in depth. Ziegler uses the research of many historians to piece together what occurred during this time of grief. Ziegler starts off the book explaining the origins and nature of the plague. He explains how the tartar attacked the port city of Genoa by catapulting diseased corpses in the city’s compound. The Genoese decided to flee and went further north, which caused the spread of disease into Europe. Progressing farther into the novel, Ziegler examines the other countries in Europe. He points out the raid on Jews during the time in Germany because the Jews were blamed for the cause of the plague. He also mentions the Flagellant movement in central Europe. Members who practiced Flagellantism whipped themselves in order to clear themselves of their sins; it was practiced to keep the plague away. Next, Ziegler starts to describe England. He splits England into several different regions and uses statistical data to determine different percentages and numbers. In this section, he writes down many details such as how many people died in the area and how the wage levels and prices were affected. He also reasons to may conclusions concerning social economic, agriculture, artistic, and religious effects of the plague in England. Near the end of the book, Ziegler does the most peculiar thing. He actually writes in fiction about a village during the plague; he is trying to help the reader capture the scenes and feel the suffering the Europe did at this time. Overall, Ziegler fulfills his goal of enlightening the reader with a vast amount of knowledge.
Relevance to Course: The Black Death relates to this course...