Dutton Launches THE MOSQUITO with Lots of Buzzzzzz

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This week’s Igloo Book Buzz selection is Timothy C. Winegard’s THE MOSQUITO: A Human History of our Deadliest Predator, published by Dutton on August 6 and debuting at #9 on The New York Times hardcover nonfiction bestseller list for the week of August 25. It’s the definitive book on the deadly pest that has steered the course of human history, killing an estimated half of the total human population and devastating armies, kings, and leaders from the earliest days of human existence.

As a history professor at Colorado Mesa University and author of several academic military history books, Winegard was especially interested in the mosquito’s monumental role in history, saying, “Across our existence the mosquito has determined the fates of nations, decided momentous wars, and helped design our global arrangement, killing an estimated 52 billion people along the way.”

Timothy C. Winegard photo: © Rylie E. Vavra

Even before the book started gaining momentum with reviewers, excitement was high amongst the publishing team at Dutton. Dutton’s Editor in Chief John Parsley recalls, “THE MOSQUITO was my first acquisition for Dutton, and I’m sure it set an expectation that whenever I liked a proposal, I’d literally run down the hall and yell ‘We must publish this!’ As Dutton colleagues began reading, it was terrifically exciting to see that we all agreed: the proposal was wildly discussable and provocative and put the humble-seeming bug into the surprising, grand context it deserves.”

THE MOSQUITO is off to a great start with major national publicity. Winegard launched the book with an in-depth taped CBS This Morning Saturday segment filmed in Atlanta—one of the mosquito capitals of the United States! Throughout pub week, THE MOSQUITO received fantastic reviews from The New Yorker, The Economist, The Los Angeles Times, The Associated Press and USA Today; incredible first serial placement in The New York Times Sunday Review and Medium.com; and major radio including NPR Weekend Edition, a full hour on WBUR’s On Point, a Radio Satellite tour and many more regional NPRs.

Publicity will continue throughout the summer with major reviews to come from The New York Times Book Review, Vox, and many additional radio interviews in markets across the country, including more NPR.

A sampling of praise for THE MOSQUITO:

  • “Hugely impressive, a major work.”—NPR
  • “The Mosquito is an extremely well-researched work of narrative nonfiction…Timothy C. Winegard’s The Mosquito is as wildly entertaining as any epic narrative out there. It’s also all true…Winegard masterfully weaves historical facts and science to offer a shocking, informative narrative that shows how who we are today is directly linked to the mosquito.”—NPR.org
  • “Winegard’s reminder of their enormous potential for destruction is a timely one for all of us…we modern folk are also guilty of believing that our hopes and our technology will somehow make us exempt from the workings of the natural world. The entire time that humanity has been in existence, the mosquito has been proof that we are not.”—The New Yorker
  • “Thrilling… a lively history of mosquitoes. Mr. Winegard convincingly argues that the insect has shaped human life as well as delivering death… Mr. Winegard is an engaging guide, especially when he combines analysis with anecdote.”—The Economist
  • “Readers of nonfiction, history and science will enjoy Winegard’s unique take on the ever-present pest. If you can’t get away from mosquitoes in your backyard, then immerse yourself in this book and learn a new perspective on this seemingly insignificant part of summer.”—The Associated Press
  • “Written as a big-picture, impersonal history—think Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel…The Mosquito serves up an eye-opening, deeply alarming, and absolutely engrossing view of humanity’s most tenacious foe.”—Foreign Policy
  • “Fascinating… an entertainingly educational new opus… Winegard’s study marshals scientific facts and millennia of historical background about the droning pest we all encounter and which has killed nearly half of all human beings who’ve ever lived, profoundly altering our world along its bloodsucking way.”—USA Today


Posted: August 16, 2019