This is a multi-subject history lesson. Medical history, World War 1 history, and Virus history. The great flu epidemic of 1918 is missing from most history books I was exposed to in school. Discussing it with friends I found no one that had anything but a vague notion of what happened in 1918, let alone that more Americas died of the flu in 1918 than died in the Civil War. I also learned so much about our very short history of medicine in the United States, Shocking really that in 1910 you could get into medical schools without even having graduated high school, and receive your MD without ever touching a patient. We have made fantastic strides in a short hundred years. This book pays tribute so some of the great medical scholars and philanthropists that worked together to create world leading medical institutions we have today.
The data on the flu virus and how it spreads is of great value to anyone that wants to live through the next pandemic.
"It was only influenza, only influenza." A disturbing account of the spanish flu that ravaged the entire world in 1918-1919. I had heard my grandparents tell stories of it (my grandmother lost her brother to it the autumn of 1918 during his freshman year at college.) But they spared me the nightmarish details. The beginning starts...well at the beginning. The founding of the John Hopkins Hospital and Medical School. How much doctor's knew and how little education and effort it took to get a license to practice medicine in the USA. Our best doctors were getting their training in France and Germany before the 20th century. Imagine entire young families stricken with a flu that left them dead with pneumonia in 12-48 hours. It killed the young and strong because they had the most efficient immune system to fight off disease and viruses. Their own immune system ravaged the lungs in order to fight off not only the virus, but also the bacteria the virus invited. Families having to bury their own dead at cemeteries because grave diggers refused to do it and also mass graves in large cities. Morgues so full the bodies were stacked like cord wood. This is history and facts and a disturbing read. Could this happen again? Yes.
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
Like other great history narratives, such as Manhunt: The Twelve Day Hunt For Lincoln's Killer, Tears In The Darkness, and The Demon Under The Microscope, Barry's The Great Influenza drops us directly into the time period in which an unimaginable drama played out upon the world stage. It also serves to bring to light the lives of such men as Dr. Paul A Lewis (who does not even have a Wiki page!), a man who gave his life fighting polio, tuberculosis, yellow fever and, most notably, the great influenza of 1918, which killed exponentially more people than the Black Death and AIDS, and in a remarkably short period of time. Truly, if human society heralded such men as Dr. Lewis rather than the latest nitwit comedian or talentless singer, we would enjoy a much richer and healthier existence, and human evolution might move along at a steadier pace rather than bumbling about as it has since the dawn of time.
are we prepared?
This question is not really relevant
He seems to bring emotion to each sentence. Sometimes it is too much.
The Great epidemic of 1918: will it happen again in 2018?
Throughout my life I have heard of the killer flu pandemic of 1918, but have known no details of how the pandemic developed and why so many people died. This is a chilling story of how the medical system was completely overwhelmed, resulting in far more deaths than might otherwise have occurred. Although we have more effective medicines for the pneumonia which followed the flu and was the actual major killer, The sheer numbers of people involved would, if it happened again result in many deaths from the same cause. This is because our current ems system does not have the surge capacity to deal with the large numbers of very sick people. After reading this book, my feeling is that eventually another such pandemic is likely to happen again. Do we have a national plan for dealing with it? The book seems to say that the answer is no, and I think that the book makes the point very well.
Wonderfully narrated by Scott Brick, this is more a history of American medicine at the turn of the century and how public health and the military both succeeded and failed to recognize, confront, and solve a major health crisis. It is politically intriguing, and provides a more complete picture of how the flu was able to take so many lives, as well as how Pres. Wilson used WWI to censor media and round up radicals. For those interested in the history of WWI, this is a book that presents an indispensible part of the picture.
Includes a history of medicine that starts "Hippocrates was born..." and plenty about viruses, too. Brings to life this frightful forgotten plague that killed up to 100,000,000 people.
Unlike the Dark Ages where people were dropping like flies, this book illuminates that brief period in time around 1918 where influenza so potently held its grip on the world populace with many succumbing to the illness. Thought provoking if the same were to happen today, likely to be far worse since the world travels more than in 1918. Gave good perspective to what amounts to mankind's brittle existence over the biological level of inhabitance that we share this earth...
This is a painstaking documentation of the worst plague in modern times. Good narration, detailed history and insightful analysis. I was captivated. It gives me good insight on the issues today surrounding the flu.
This book takes a little getting used to but it is well worth the effort. It opens a window into little known trial, tribulations and triumphs of a profession which not many are familiar with, Science. Having a sister of my mother die in the 1918 Flu pandemic, I was interested to learn more and more I did learn. This is a treasure and the scientists seem to come to life. I was really rooting for them to find a cure. Interesting.
I had always wanted to know about the Influenza epidemic, and I was stunned by the details when I heard them. Although the book itself does become weighted by both biology and biography, it quickly becomes a staggering tale that seems inexcusibly forgotten by my (the younger) generation. It has added a few names to my personal pantheon of historical heroes. I remember this book every time I sneeze.