The author obviously took the time to dig deeper into the events leading up to and including this very unusual time in history. The choices made as we approached training and deploying for World War I definitely played into the causality of how this spread so far and so fast. It also went into the history of medicine in the US and what was done to try to get it under control, which also lead to findings that were groundbreaking in the study of diseases and eventually lead to the discovery of DNA. Just like AIDS in our time, the tragedy of the disease has led to extensive research which has broken new ground in assisting with the control and containment of other diseases. When you study this, you realize why governments around the world are concerned whenever there is a threat of a influenza pandemic and put the wheels in motion to try to contain it.
As an Infection Control Practitioner, this was frightening and exciting, almost like reading a mystery thriller. It is the most complete account of the Spanish flu pandemic I have ever read. The author also gives enough history of medicine at the time (early 1900's) to truly understand why they carried on some of the practices they did to ward off the flu. I almost skipped work to finish it!
It is also a very good warning as we read of SARS and Bird Flu.
The editor should have used a heavier hand. There is too much information about things that are only loosely related to the main story. The first third of the book is more about the history of medical education in America than the epidemic. The salient points could have been covered in one chapter.
I would have approached it like a detective novel. Concentrate on the story of the different teams of scientists racing to defeat the culprit.
Someone whose tone wasn't so overwrought and melodramatic.
There is both good and interesting information in this book, but you have to slog through a lot of other stuff to get to it. It reminded me of the time I was listening to a pianist in a hotel lobby who added so many embellishments to everything he played I was tempted to offer him $20 to play every other note.
Among my top ten books out of hundreds.
The way the author shared the shear horror of the speed and deadliness of this disease. Also I was thrilled by the courage of the health workers specifically those from the newly formed Johns Hopkins Medical School.
He is a great narrator, he has the ability to read a non fiction book and add drama and tension where others would probably miss the opportunity. This ability makes the books he reads so much more engaging.
If you have any doubts about this book but enjoy history I encourage you to listen to this one.
I really enjoyed the pathology aspect of the book & the history of medicine. I just thought the history on the doctors involved was dry and seemed to drag.
John Barry said that it wasn't his intention to frighten, only enlighten. And as I reflect back on this book it reminds me how lucky I really am, that both of grandparents were lucky.
The book's focus was much more a worshipful story about the doctors, than about the influenza epidemic. More than half way through, for me it was a chore to continue listening. I would much rather have listened to the story of the social impacts, the effects of the epidemic on society, on people, on politics, on history, than spending so much time about the history of medicine in general and the doctors at the time of the epidemic in particular. I certainly honor the dedicated researchers and doctors who fight disease, but would not have bought this book had I skimmed it first.
There was a LOT of statistical information shared in this audio book; way too much.
I stopped listening to it after SEVERAL hours and went to the library to get a condensed version, which summarized this audio book very well. Too many exact figures and repeat of those figures; it diluted the book.
The Great Influenza of 1918-19 WAS interesting and worthy of a book, but this audio book was way too detailed, and seemed to draw out information that could have been condensed.
The most disappointing part of the story was the deluge of statistics...over and over. I started rolling my eyes as I listened.
Overly-dramatic; the tone seemed like it was meant to scare the listener about the Great Influenza...like a ghost story-teller. He tried too hard to bring a sober tone to the book. (that was more than 3 words, I know).
I would not see the movie; I'd go to the juvenile section of a library and read a condensed version of the great influenza. It's definitely worthy information.
If this book was offered in an abridged version, I'd recommend it over the unabrided.
I'm an avid audiobook listener, as well as an Audible Approved Producer (Narrator). Look for my titles here on Audible! Thanks!
I did not expect this book to be so detailed and information packed. What a pleasant surprise! Not only have I learned about the disease that killed more people than any other on history, but it compellingly depicts the history and study of medicine throughout world history and American medicine in particular. A fascinating read, and Scott Brick (as always!) compels the listener and draws you into the sweeping story.
For someone in healthcare, this was fascinating. Not just a story of the outbreak, but starts off with the background of where medicine was at during this time. Very disturbing that this could happen again.