Mark Honigsbaum

Early Life and Education


Honigsbaum’s professional journey spans journalism, historical research, and academia. As a journalist, he has contributed to prominent publications like The Observer and The Lancet, specializing in the history and science of infectious diseases. His academic career includes a position as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Journalism at City, University of London, where he continues to influence the next generation of journalists.

Literary Career

Mark Honigsbaum’s literary career is marked by his contributions to understanding historical pandemics and the stories of human endeavor in the face of disease. However, it is his venture into the Ecuadorian landscape with “Valverde’s Gold” that stands out for its adventurous spirit and historical curiosity.

“Valverde’s Gold” is a compelling narrative that weaves together the past and present in search of the elusive Inca treasure hidden in Ecuador. Critics have lauded the book for its blend of meticulous research and engaging storytelling. The Washington Times described it as a “treasure tale [that] is true [and] dazzlingly documented, with words to whet one’s greed,” highlighting its thorough documentation and the allure it holds for readers. The Boston Globe praised it for offering “glimpses of the pure, bracing thrill of the quest for lost treasure,” while The Washington Post commended Honigsbaum for “skillfully walk[ing] the tightrope between serious research and action-packed adventure.”

Beyond “Valverde’s Gold,” Honigsbaum has authored several other significant works, including titles that delve into medical history and the impact of diseases on humanity. His books reflect a deep engagement with the themes of human struggle, scientific inquiry, and the narratives that emerge from our interactions with the natural world.


  • Valverde’s Gold: In Search of the Last Great Inca Treasure (2004)
  • The Fever Trail: In Search of the Cure for Malaria (2001)
  • Living With Enza: The Forgotten Story of Britain and the Great Flu Pandemic of 1918 (2008)
  • The Pandemic Century: One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria, and Hubris (2019), later revised as The Pandemic Century: A Global History of Contagion from Spanish Flu to Covid-19 (2020)