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The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History

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The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"[A] sweeping history....Barry captures the sense of panic and despair that overwhelmed stricken communities and hits hard at those who failed to use their power to protect the public good." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"[F]ascinating....Barry produces a sharp account of the epidemic's sudden onset....Barry also underlines the dismaying speed with which many survivors forgot the great influenza outbreak almost as soon as it appeared to end." Howard Markel, The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"A keen recounting of the 1918-20 pandemic....Majestic, spellbinding treatment of a mass killer." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

The terrifying story of the first modern "plague," the 1918 influenza epidemic that began in an army camp in Kansas, then exploded across the world. Through this epidemic John Barry depicts America at a watershed moment in its history, to show how the war and the disease were woven together, how politics and public health collide, how almost unstoppable a pandemic can be even in the 21st century. Barry is also the author of Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America.

Synopsis:

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. 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.

Synopsis:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [507]-527) and index.

About the Author

John M. Barry is the author of four previous works of history, including the highly acclaimed Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. He is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Center for Bioenvironmental Research of Tulane and Xavier universities.

Table of Contents

prologue 1
Part I: THE WARRIORS 9
Part II: THE SWARM 89
Part III: THE TINDERBOX 117
Part IV: IT BEGINS 167
Part V: EXPLOSION 195
Part VI: THE PESTILENCE 229
Part VII: THE RACE 253
Part VIII: THE TOLLING OF THE BELL 297
Part IX: LINGERER 367
Part X: ENDGAME 399
afterword 448
Acknowledgments 463
Notes 467
Bibliography 507
Index 529

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Thomas Kirby, September 26, 2007 (view all comments by Thomas Kirby)
This book tells us about the 1918-1919 pandemic, but it also tells us about the progress being made in the study of medicine at the time, and the government decisions that made the epidemic worse than it had to be. A few medical advancements came out of the study of this disease, although most came much later. The book also briefly discusses what would happen if (or when) a virulent strain of influenza strikes again, and the news isn't altogether encouraging.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780670894734
Subtitle:
The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History
Publisher:
Viking Adult
Author:
Barry, John M.
Location:
New York
Subject:
Medicine
Subject:
History
Subject:
Modern - 20th Century
Subject:
Infectious Diseases
Subject:
Influenza
Subject:
United States - 20th Century (1900-1945)
Subject:
World - General
Subject:
Influenza Epidemic, 1918-1919
Subject:
World
Subject:
General History
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
bk. 2
Publication Date:
February 5, 2004
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16-page b/w photo insert
Pages:
560
Dimensions:
9.64x6.32x1.74 in. 1.87 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Featured Titles
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » History of Medicine
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties

The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History
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$ In Stock
Product details 560 pages Viking Books - English 9780670894734 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "[A] sweeping history....Barry captures the sense of panic and despair that overwhelmed stricken communities and hits hard at those who failed to use their power to protect the public good." Publishers Weekly
"Review" by , "[F]ascinating....Barry produces a sharp account of the epidemic's sudden onset....Barry also underlines the dismaying speed with which many survivors forgot the great influenza outbreak almost as soon as it appeared to end."
"Review" by , "A keen recounting of the 1918-20 pandemic....Majestic, spellbinding treatment of a mass killer."
"Synopsis" by , The terrifying story of the first modern "plague," the 1918 influenza epidemic that began in an army camp in Kansas, then exploded across the world. Through this epidemic John Barry depicts America at a watershed moment in its history, to show how the war and the disease were woven together, how politics and public health collide, how almost unstoppable a pandemic can be even in the 21st century. Barry is also the author of Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America.
"Synopsis" by , 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. 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.
"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. [507]-527) and index.
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