THE MOSQUITO, A HUMAN HISTORY OF OUR DEADLIEST PREDATOR, by Timothy C. Winegard, Allen Lane, Penguin Canada


A pioneering and ground-breaking work of narrative nonfiction that offers a dramatic new perspective on the history of humankind, showing how through millennia, the mosquito has been the single most powerful force in determining humanity’s fate

Why was gin and tonic the cocktail of choice for British colonists in India and Africa? What does Starbucks have to thank for its global domination? What has protected the lives of popes for millennia? Why did Scotland surrender its sovereignty to England? What was George Washington’s secret weapon during the American Revolution?

The answer to all these questions, and many more, is the mosquito.

Across our planet since the dawn of humankind, this nefarious pest, roughly the size and weight of a grape seed, has been at the frontlines of history as the grim reaper, the harvester of human populations, and the ultimate agent of historical change. As the mosquito transformed the landscapes of civilization, humans were unwittingly required to respond to its piercing impact and universal projection of power.

The mosquito has determined the fates of empires and nations, razed and crippled economies, and decided the outcome of pivotal wars, killing nearly half of humanity along the way. She (only females bite) has dispatched an estimated 52 billion people from a total of 108 billion throughout our relatively brief existence. As the greatest purveyor of extermination we have ever known, she has played a greater role in shaping our human story than any other living thing with which we share our global village.

Imagine for a moment a world without deadly mosquitoes, or any mosquitoes, for that matter? Our history and the world we know, or think we know, would be completely unrecognizable.

Driven by surprising insights and fast-paced storytelling, The Mosquito is the extraordinary untold story of the mosquito’s reign through human history and her indelible impact on our modern world order.

Out August 2019

496 Pages approx.


I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

What a fascinating read!

I loved the idea that one small bug could affect history so much and in such incredible ways. If you think about it, humans have always claimed to be at the top of the food chain; we’re the dominant species over all else. But, we really aren’t, are we? So many diseases and plagues have been attributed to the smallest of threats, things even humans can’t withstand.

Winegard puts science with history to take the reader on a fantastic journey acknowledging moments in history where humans are not at their best, and civilizations’ existence are threaten or changed all because of a little bug. This book is not just a science journal about a mosquito; it’s so much more.

The science parts are thoroughly and carefully explained, there are diagrams and photos to accompany the evidence suggested, and, his tracing events throughout history involving disease brought on by a mosquito bite is diligently portrayed using facts and historical events. He shows how human existence has been evolved in unison with the mosquitos’ constant survival and dominance over humans. Truly fascinating!


The ideas Winegard suggests to tie history to the mosquito are incredible. Is it truly a predator? After reading this book, I’m a believer!

I loved this book and plan on keeping it in my library.

I gave it:


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