Studies concerning the way in which ancien-rgime Italian society endeavoured to defend itself from disease and, in particular, the plague comprise the main section of Cipolla's work. These studies were later collected in the volume "Against an Invisible Enemy". This book belongs to the same category and was originally published in the United States. In three concise chapters focusing on the 1630 plague epidemic, Cipolla describes the attempts of doctors and health officials to identify effective prevention systems, the political success of the cooperation between Genoa and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, and the evolution of the disease in the exemplary context of Pistoia. With his signature combination of erudition and verve, story-telling ability and interpretative depth, Cipolla gives the reader a new opportunity to enjoy his narrative and historical talents.
Carlo M. Cipolla (1922-2000) taught at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Pisa's Scuola Normale Superiore, as well as in the Universities of Venice, Turin and Pavia.