Ed Yong’s new book on our complex relationships with the microbial world contains a multitude of wonders

On one view, the rise of natural philosophy over the last several millennia has slowly stripped man of his God-given dominion over creation and squeezed the human species into a tiny corner of the cosmos that, through accidents of physics, chemistry and evolution, happens to be our home. The diminishment of humankind is a trajectory that I find terrifying and exhilarating and it continues apace in Ed Yong’s masterful new book, I Contain Multitudes, which tells the stories of the microbes that swarm within and around us.