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The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in Historyby John M Barry
Synopses & Reviews
No disease the world has ever known even remotely resembles the great influenza epidemic of 1918. Presumed to have begun when sick farm animals infected soldiers in Kansas, spreading and mutating into a lethal strain as troops carried it to Europe, it exploded across the world with unequaled ferocity and speed. It killed more people in twenty weeks than AIDS has killed in twenty years; it killed more people in a year than the plagues of the Middle Ages killed in a century. Victims bled from the ears and nose, turned blue from lack of oxygen, suffered aches that felt like bones being broken, and died. In the United States, where bodies were stacked without coffins on trucks, nearly seven times as many people died of influenza as in the First World War.
In his powerful new book, award-winning historian John M. Barry unfolds a tale that is magisterial in its breadth and in the depth of its research, and spellbinding as he weaves multiple narrative strands together. In this first great collision between science and epidemic disease, even as society approached collapse, a handful of heroic researchers stepped forward, risking their lives to confront this strange disease. Titans like William Welch at the newly formed Johns Hopkins Medical School and colleagues at Rockefeller University and others from around the country revolutionized American science and public health, and their work in this crisis led to crucial discoveries that we are still using and learning from today.
The Washington Post’s Jonathan Yardley said Barry’s last book can “change the way we think.” The Great Influenza may also change the way we see the world.
From one of the most acclaimed writers of nonfiction for children, Invincible Microbe illuminates the seemingly unstoppable killer that's been haunting us for centuries: tuberculosis. Well-researched and including over 100 archival photos and prints, this compelling "biography" of a deadly germ is a must-read.
This is the story of a killer that has been striking people down for thousands of years:
tuberculosis. After centuries of ineffective treatments, the microorganism that causes
TB was identified, and the cure was thought to be within reachand#8212;but drug-resistant
varieties continue to plague and panic the human race. The and#8220;biographyand#8221; of this deadly
germ, an account of the diagnosis, treatment, and and#8220;cureand#8221; of the disease over time,
and the social history of an illness that could strike anywhere but was most prevalent
among the poor are woven together in an engrossing, carefully researched narrative.
Bibliography, source notes, index.
At the height of WWI, historyandrsquo;s most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. It killed more people in twenty-four months than AIDS killed in twenty-four years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. But this was not the Middle Ages, and 1918 marked the first collision of science and epidemic disease. Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research and now revised to reflect the growing danger of the avian flu, The Great Influenza is ultimately a tale of triumph amid tragedy, which provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon. John M. Barry has written a new afterword for this edition that brings us up to speed on the terrible threat of the avian flu and suggest ways in which we might head off another flu pandemic.
About the Author
John M. Barry is the author of four previous books, including the highly acclaimed and award-winning Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America.
Table of Contents
Part I: The Warriors
Part II: The Swarm
Part III: The Tinderbox
Part IV: It Begins
Part V: Explosion
Part VI: The Pestilence
Part VII: The Race
Part VIII: The Tolling Of The Bell
Part IX: Lingerer
Part X: Endgame
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