The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History (Revised Edition)
The Great Influenza The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History - Revised Edition Author:John M. Barry At the height of WWI, history'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 wa... more »s not the Middle Ages, and 1918 marked the first collision of science and epidemic disease.« less
This is a VERY thorough book about the Influenza Pandemic that killed millions of people world wide between 1917 and around 1920. The author gives a nice overview of the progression of medical science from around the 1500's up until the pandemic hits. I found that very interesting. However, once the author began writing about the actual pandemic, I found that he used many more words to say what could have been said in fewer. I think this 465 page book could have been just as effective, and a little less boring if he had cut off about 65 of those pages. He repeats himself a lot and really goes on and on about some subjects in order to impress upon the reader how bad the conditions really were. I can respect that, however, by the time I was 2/3 of the way through the book, I was ancy for it to end. That's too bad because it is apparent the author did a lot of excellent research and really knew his subject in order to prepare and write this book. But overall, it is a very informative and interesting case history about what happened when the pandemic hit right in the middle of WW I.
Linda H. reviewed The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History (Revised Edition) on
Helpful Score: 1
I was drawn to this book because one of my great uncles died of influenza while in the Army for World War I, and another great uncle wrote home about being quarantined while at boot camp. This book was a fascinating explanation of the disease, how it mutates and spreads, why there is no vaccine, and how it effects the body.
Interesting study of the virulent influenza pandemic that occurred at the time of WWI. First few sections detail the dismal state of medicine in the U.S. until the early 1900's, and pioneers of medical science who learned techniques for the study of disease in Europe (mainly Germany) and how to develop serums/ cures. Major funding for medical advances was provided by the Rockefellers after the death of a young son/grandson, and the Rockefeller Institute, and Johns Hopkins, played a major role in the development of many medical advances. Studies after the flu passed indicate those who received care at home and stayed in bed during illness and for a few days after fared the best.