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The Great Influenza: The Story of the…
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The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History (edició 2005)

de John M. Barry (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses / Mencions
3,3091052,862 (3.94)2 / 210
"In the winter of 1918, the coldest the American Midwest had ever endured, history's most lethal influenza virus was born. Over the next year it flourished, killing as many as 100 million people. It killed more people in twenty-four weeks than AIDS has killed in twenty-four years, more people in a year than the Black Death of the Middle Ages killed in a century. There were many echoes of the Middle Ages in 1918: victims turned blue-black and priests in some of the world's most modern cities drove horse-drawn carts down the streets, calling upon people to bring out their dead." "But 1918 was not the Middle Ages, and the story of this epidemic is not simply one of death, suffering, and terror; it is the story of one war imposed upon the background of another. For the first time in history, science collided with epidemic disease, and great scientists - pioneers who defined modern American medicine - pitted themselves against a pestilence. The politicians and military commanders of World War I, focusing upon a different type of enemy, ignored warnings from these scientists and so fostered conditions that helped the virus kill. The strain of these two wars put society itself under almost unimaginable pressure. Even as scientists began to make progress, the larger society around them began to crack." "Yet ultimately this is a story of triumph amidst tragedy, illuminating human courage as well as science. In particular, this courage led a tenacious investigator directly to one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the twentieth century - a discovery that has spawned many Nobel prizes and even now is shaping our future."--BOOK JACKET.… (més)
Membre:Johnson88
Títol:The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History
Autors:John M. Barry (Autor)
Informació:Penguin Books (2005), Edition: Revised, 546 pages
Col·leccions:USMC / Military / PME / History, Read, La teva biblioteca, Preferits
Valoració:
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

Detalls de l'obra

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History de John M. Barry

  1. 40
    Flu de Gina Kolata (hailelib)
    hailelib: Covers the same pandemic with a different approach.
  2. 20
    The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World de Steven Johnson (John_Vaughan)
  3. 32
    Year of Wonders de Geraldine Brooks (labfs39)
    labfs39: For a non-fiction account of an epidemic that many thought was the Black Plague come again
  4. 10
    The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, The Epidemic That Shaped Our History de Molly Caldwell Crosby (John_Vaughan)
  5. 00
    Plagues and Peoples de William H. McNeill (M_Clark)
    M_Clark: This book talks about many of the plagues that have erupted throughout history and how they have influenced the course of history.
  6. 11
    Fever 1793 de Laurie Halse Anderson (infiniteletters)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 105 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Highly informative. A tad melodramatic/hyperbolic, which lengthens the reading somewhat. ( )
  Mithril | Feb 27, 2021 |
Very interesting. Other reviewers thought the book should have been written as 2 books - one on the scientists, one on the epidemic - but I thought it was fine. This is mainly a book about American scientists (you get the feeling that they were the only country working on the influenza epidemic but that may just be the focus of the book) and really rather a sketchy overview of what actually happened to the the world with a bit more about America. So I think that works. My main problem was the language. It seemed to be trying to be playful and streetwise but the main effect was to make the reader guess at the meaning. I wasn't always sure what the author was trying to say despite rereading bits several times. Interesting nonetheless. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jan 23, 2021 |
Timely given the Covid-19 situation, and an interesting book, but very long and obviously originally a different book which got edited into a book more about the actual topic late in the process, leaving it feeling disjointed.

It's partially a basically chronological/factual story of the Spanish Influenza and how it affected various places (US centric, although it did cover everywhere somewhat) -- advances the argument that the virus started in Haskell County, Kansas (which is one of several). This part is decent, but focuses on a lot of the less-interesting details without really covering the broad scope well enough.

The original book, which mostly is grafted on at the end now, is the story of several scientists who were to some extent forgotten, and the general theory of how scientific progress is made (luck, capitalizing on opportunity, massive focused effort, and collaboration, leavened by politics, and all very unpredictable.). This part is interesting but seems like a separate book, and the underlying idea has been done better elsewhere (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Kuhn).

Overall, this might be the best book about the Spanish Flu, but it's still not great, sadly. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
A very thorough account of the 1918 pandemic, and the state of medicine in the US at the time. While it's clear from the book that medicine in America made numerous advances after the turn of the twentieth century, the nation, and indeed the world, were still wholly unprepared to deal with the influenza pandemic.

The first World War has often been blamed for the lack of focus on (and active suppression of information about) the pandemic by the US federal government and Barry's book goes into some detail on this topic. But the AIDS pandemic and the current pandemic of coronavirus have unfortunately made clear that political and public health interests are too easily at odds, war or no war.

The discussion at the end of the book about preparation for future pandemics (written pre-COVID) is not very hopeful and makes clear that medicine still has no "silver bullet" approaches to viral pandemics. Barry writes about "NPI" or non-pharmaceutical interventions being the best tools at hand when pandemics strike - including social distancing (yes, he uses that term).

Reading this book in 2020 during the COVID pandemic is informative and useful, especially the sections on how the immune system fights disease. I agree with other reviewers that better editing would have led to a better book - phrases, sentences, topics are repeated from one place to another giving the reader a sense of "deja vu" more often than I think the author would prefer. Even so, this is a book well worth your time. ( )
  stevrbee | Nov 7, 2020 |
Considering the current state of the world, this book was eerie. Recounting how the 1918 pandemic emerged and spread, this book is a work of history, but by changing a few names it could also be an in-depth report on current events. The worst part was the conclusion, in which the author discusses how prepared the world is for the spread of a similar pandemic. I had to double-check the publication date, because it's somewhat frightening how well understood and readily apparent the problems which have played out in 2020 were years previously. Excellent reading, especially if one is interested in the history of pandemics and for understanding how little humans appear to learn from them. ( )
1 vota wagner.sarah35 | Oct 13, 2020 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 105 (següent | mostra-les totes)
John M. Barry calls The Great Influenza "the epic story of the deadliest plague in history," but his book is somewhat more idiosyncratic than epic and in any case is not as interested in the 1918 influenza pandemic as in the careers of those American medical researchers who studied the disease.
afegit per John_Vaughan | editalection, Tim morris (Jun 26, 2011)
 
Barry organizes his story as a conflict between medicine and disease. The influenza pandemic, he writes, was ''the first great collision between nature and modern science''; ''for the first time, modern humanity, a humanity practicing the modern scientific method, would confront nature in its fullest rage.'
afegit per pbirch01 | editaNew York Times, Barry Gewen (Mar 14, 2004)
 

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Belanger, FrancescaDissenyadorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Ogolter, MartinDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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"In the winter of 1918, the coldest the American Midwest had ever endured, history's most lethal influenza virus was born. Over the next year it flourished, killing as many as 100 million people. It killed more people in twenty-four weeks than AIDS has killed in twenty-four years, more people in a year than the Black Death of the Middle Ages killed in a century. There were many echoes of the Middle Ages in 1918: victims turned blue-black and priests in some of the world's most modern cities drove horse-drawn carts down the streets, calling upon people to bring out their dead." "But 1918 was not the Middle Ages, and the story of this epidemic is not simply one of death, suffering, and terror; it is the story of one war imposed upon the background of another. For the first time in history, science collided with epidemic disease, and great scientists - pioneers who defined modern American medicine - pitted themselves against a pestilence. The politicians and military commanders of World War I, focusing upon a different type of enemy, ignored warnings from these scientists and so fostered conditions that helped the virus kill. The strain of these two wars put society itself under almost unimaginable pressure. Even as scientists began to make progress, the larger society around them began to crack." "Yet ultimately this is a story of triumph amidst tragedy, illuminating human courage as well as science. In particular, this courage led a tenacious investigator directly to one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the twentieth century - a discovery that has spawned many Nobel prizes and even now is shaping our future."--BOOK JACKET.

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