Time to Dance, a Time to Die: The Extraordinary Story of the Dancing Plague of 1518


I always believe that we need to learn our history in order to learn about our current world better. This book explores the 1518 Dancing Plague from a social perspective. The author clearly mentioned that several theses tried to explain the Plague from different angles, and he tried to approach it from the social context.

 Waller’s thesis is quite convincing, that the plaque caused by hysteria from psychological stress and supernaturalism.

I do believe that the same hysteria still occurs today only they took different forms as supernaturalism slowly vanish from daily lives (in Strasbourg or other European countries). But we still have countries where poverty, corruption, and a strong belief in divine intervention still very much exists. Some of his colorful illustration of the social context in medieval societies still occurs in the society I live in today. For me, it would be better if he explores further some of the modern mass hysteria and psychological distress.

The last chapter is the best that can tie together previous chapters of this book. However, the author seems like he cannot decide whether to have this book as creative writing or academic style. All in all, still a good read for history lovers.

Author: Mia

A writer | researcher | lecturer who also a tech-addict and internet-junkie

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