The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters by Rose George is a non-fiction book that explores the topic of sanitation and its importance in the world. The book delves into the history of sanitation, the current state of affairs, and the future of waste management. The author takes readers on a journey through various countries and cultures to highlight the different approaches to dealing with human waste.
The first chapter of the book introduces the topic of sanitation and the importance of waste management. The author discusses the history of sanitation and how it has evolved over time. She also highlights the fact that sanitation is often overlooked and not given the attention it deserves. The chapter also introduces the concept of the “Big Necessity” – the idea that sanitation is a fundamental human right.
Chapter 2: The Great Stink
In this chapter, the author takes readers to Victorian London and discusses the Great Stink of 1858. This was a period when the city was overwhelmed by the smell of human waste, which had been accumulating in the River Thames. The chapter highlights how the stink led to a public health crisis and how the British government finally took action to address the issue of sanitation.
Chapter 3: The Flush Toilet
This chapter discusses the invention of the flush toilet and how it revolutionized the way people dealt with human waste. The author highlights the different types of toilets and the various ways in which they work. She also discusses the importance of proper waste disposal and how the flush toilet made it possible to keep human waste out of sight and out of mind.
Chapter 4: The Disease Vectors
In this chapter, the author discusses the link between sanitation and public health. She highlights the fact that poor sanitation is responsible for the spread of many diseases, including cholera, typhoid, and dysentery. The chapter also discusses the role of insects and other vectors in the spread of disease and how proper sanitation can help to prevent the spread of these diseases.
Chapter 5: The Waterborne
This chapter takes readers to the developing world and discusses the issue of waterborne diseases. The author highlights the fact that many people in the developing world do not have access to clean water and proper sanitation, which leads to the spread of waterborne diseases. She also discusses the importance of proper waste disposal and how it can help to prevent the spread of these diseases.
Chapter 6: The Sanitation Revolution
In this chapter, the author discusses the current state of sanitation and the efforts being made to improve it. She highlights the progress that has been made in recent years and the challenges that remain. The chapter also discusses the role of technology in improving sanitation and how it can help to address the challenges faced by the developing world.
Overall, The Big Necessity is a thought-provoking book that highlights the importance of sanitation and waste management. The author takes readers on a journey through various countries and cultures to highlight the different approaches to dealing with human waste. The book is a reminder that sanitation is a fundamental human right and that it is essential to address the challenges faced by the developing world. The Big Necessity is a must-read for anyone interested in public health, environmental studies, or social justice.