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The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History

by John M. Barry

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,3031342,711 (3.93)2 / 231
Health & Fitness. History. Science. Nonfiction. In the winter of 1918, at the height of World War I, 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 weeks than AIDS has 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 between modern science and epidemic disease. Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research, THE GREAT INFLUENZA weaves together multiple narratives, with characters ranging from William Welch, founder of the Johns Hopkins Medical School, to John D. Rockefeller and Woodrow Wilson. Ultimately a tale of triumph amid tragedy, this crisis provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon.… (more)
  1. 40
    Flu by Gina Kolata (hailelib)
    hailelib: Covers the same pandemic with a different approach.
  2. 42
    Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks (labfs39)
    labfs39: For a non-fiction account of an epidemic that many thought was the Black Plague come again
  3. 20
    The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson (John_Vaughan)
  4. 10
    The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic that Shaped Our History by Molly Caldwell Crosby (John_Vaughan)
  5. 10
    Plagues and People by 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 by Laurie Halse Anderson (infiniteletters)
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» See also 231 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 133 (next | show all)
Young readers notwithstanding, this is a scaled down version of the original which I listened to for 19 and a half hours a few years ago on audiobook. That one was excellent but occasionally a bit more technical than others might like (I am a retired nurse). This is timeless history as we have learned with the recent COVID pandemic and people need to know the similarities and differences in the human responses.
I am giving this caveat because the copy I requested and received from PENGUIN GROUP Penguin Young Readers Group, Viking Books for Young Readers via NetGalley is not TTS enabled. ( )
  jetangen4571 | Feb 6, 2024 |
All the book's other merits and shortfalls notwithstanding, one should bear in mind, that this narrative is tremendously focused on US experience of the influenza of 1918-19. An outrageously enormous skew, for that matter. Events in Europe and the rest of the world are mentioned mostly in the passing.
  Den85 | Jan 3, 2024 |
This book basically predicts COVID in the afterward and how unprepared we are for a pandemic. ( )
  Moshepit20 | Oct 29, 2023 |
A riveting account of the 1918 influenza pandemic and its historical context. In the movie OUTBREAK, the heroes save the day. In this story, there were many heroes but; they were too late to save between 50 and 100 million people. "
  Noetical | Oct 16, 2023 |
Finally done! This comprehensive book about the pandemic of 1918 has everything: military intrigue, sweeping sickness, politics, science...an excellent read, even though it took me forever. A great add to my biohazard library. ( )
  kwskultety | Jul 4, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 133 (next | show all)
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.
added by John_Vaughan | editlection, 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.'
added by pbirch01 | editNew York Times, Barry Gewen (Mar 14, 2004)
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John M. Barryprimary authorall editionscalculated
Belanger, FrancescaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ogolter, MartinCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robert, RichardTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Edna Rose, who didn't get to find her colors but made the world brighter anyway
To my darling Anne
and to the spirit that was Paul Lewis
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Prologue: The Great War had brought Paul Lewis into the navy in 1918 as a lieutenant commander, but he never seemed quite at ease when in his uniform.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Health & Fitness. History. Science. Nonfiction. In the winter of 1918, at the height of World War I, 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 weeks than AIDS has 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 between modern science and epidemic disease. Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research, THE GREAT INFLUENZA weaves together multiple narratives, with characters ranging from William Welch, founder of the Johns Hopkins Medical School, to John D. Rockefeller and Woodrow Wilson. Ultimately a tale of triumph amid tragedy, this crisis provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon.

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