I would recommend this book to history buffs as well as science geeks. It explains the whole way of thinking in the medical world at the turn of the 20th century. It put in perspective the end of WWI and just how quickly life could be snuffed out by these alien viruses.
I find Scott's voice to be ok but his delivery is grating. I find there is too much "hype" in the words, if you know what I'm trying to say. His voice is not a calm, pleasing one. But that aside he does a wonderful job getting the meaning across.
When I came to the conclusion that the smartest people in the world at that time still had no clue how to end this terrible epidemic. It makes me really appreciate the world of medicine in which we now live.
Its hard to say. There was plenty of science that I might prefer to have seen in print, but this audio version is not hugely inferior.
Sure. Its mainly just facts, so his job as a narrator is likely easier, but he did well.
When the book actually got to the pandemic. Every moment was exciting. Its not a part of history that gets mentioned, but I could feel the fear and confusion that must have blanketed the country.
I'd say the moment where they mention how the virus hit those outside society. Those that don't have the same immunities. It was heart wrenching. Especially with the Eskimos.
The book started out great. The background had great depth, and was definitely informative and interesting, but it was also leading. So much emphasis was put on a very influential man named Welch that I thought he'd be a major player in helping. He was not.
Then, after writing of the pandemic, there was more information that seemed to be mini biographies that had only the loosest of connections to the influenza. I appreciated the information, but that did not mean it did not seem out of place.
I do recommend this, however be aware that it is a long story of facts.
The chaos of the medical system in the 1800's
The spread of the disease due to WW1
I am appalled at the propaganda, lies, and denial of the US government. Disgusting ! ! !
The last 4 hours were extremely interesting as medical advancements soared from the data obtained.
It quickly became tedious, and the narrator's breathy excitement with every sentence was so annoying that I just couldn't stick with it. With better narration it might have been one of those books you listen to with interest but are glad to be finished with.
I read nothing that is popular.
As I write this, I'm getting over the sniffles, even though I got the flu shot. I could not put "The Great Influenza" down, because it was so interesting. If you want to know on how the Influenza virus got started and how we finally got control of it, after millions of deaths, then you are in for a treat. Just get ready to be frightened as you cough and feel sick because who hasn't gotten sick from the flu..
Great history on medicine and how the medical field drastically improved because of the flu virus.
Even a fictional writer, such as Stephen King couldn't write this horrified story that plague the States in 1918 and almost demolished the existing of man.
At the time, the flu pandemic was a war that reached all boarders and still does..
Even today, the flu virus is adapting and changing and killing more and more of its victims.
I might be a tad bit paranoid, but another plague is coming and it is just a matter of time.
This book was incredibly well researched. Mr. Barry knows so much about this era and topic. He covers everything from the rise of the medical profession, to individuals physicians and researchers of the day, the political climate,in-depth study of various bacteria, and finally the great influenza outbreak.
This was his greatest strength and his greatest weakness. I expected a well researched book about the flu that killed millions of people, but many times I felt like I was getting a lot of superfluous information that ultimately had no major relevance to this theme. It was good information, just not necessarily relevant. I felt like the author jumped from one random topic to the next without always explaining why or how this affected the overall story about the flu epidemic.
It got very scientific at points. It's been years since I've taken a biology class and felt this section of the book could have been simplified for the many people who think this topic is interesting and don't happen to be scientists or doctors.
The reading of the book was pretty good, though I'll admit he was so dramatic at points it was a little laughable. I'm not sure if this was the overuse of the author's words, "After all this was influenza, ONLY INFLUENZA!" You could have inserted some scary music every time this part of the book was read and the author definitely overused the phrase.
While I learned a great deal, some of it was about the flu epidemic and some of it not, it could have been better organized and presented. It was tough to commit too for 19 hours.
I enjoyed this book when the author stuck to the subject -- however often the author strays into subjects he appears to know very little about. The author doesn't seem to have much beyond a high school level education about WWI yet opines about it over and over and over -- that part is extremely frustrating. Having read a good number of books on WWI I can see where the author is either knowingly, or not knowingly, leaving out key information to shape the series of events to fit his narrative. This makes me wonder about the side of the book I do not know about, the science and medical parts, and makes me wonder if he's doing the same thing there. The story is interesting, but if it's not true then who cares. I'm really hoping that isn't the case and it's a matter of someone being an expert in one field at the expense of another.
Regardless I picked this up on one of Audibles five dollar sales so at that price I can forgive the WWI nonsense and enjoy the rest of the book. However if I ever hear, "influenza, it was only influenza" again I will punch a small child or kick a puppy or something bad will happen. We get it author. Stop. We get it!
The reader does an acceptable job, certainly not the best but not bad either. Three stars would be too low so I'll go with four.
Yes, I enjoyed the scientific history of the early vaccines. The history of the policy decisions of the Wilson administration was fascinating. And the description of the devastation of the influenza epidemic was mind boggling. The history of the development of modern medical education was unknown to me even though I went to medical school in Baltimore (U of Maryland) and was dimly aware of the role John's Hopkins played.
The story of the epidemic in Philadelphia.
I actually didn't enjoy the "acting" by the reader.
I felt sorry for the researcher, I can't bring his name to mind, who left his fund raising job in Philadelphia, returned to the lab without success and eventually died of yellow fever in South America.
I thought the reader was a little slow in his delivery.
...also gets a bit thick and feels like a history lesson....not that this is a bad thing. It shows an intimate look at how the medical profession becomes a professional high standard movement from what was a community of minimally trained "doctors" who administered bizarre and sometimes dangerous practices. It is more about turn of the century medicine more than the influenza epidemic.
Research Technologist with deep interests in Host Cell - Pathogen Interactions & Cancer Research. I enjoy and mostly listen to Non-Fiction audiobooks on Medicine/Science, War and History. I also like to Game when I'm not in the lab.
The history of the rise of American medicine and the Scientists involved.
Oswald Theodore Avery; he never gave up although he was never recognized for his work even to the extent of refusing him a Nobel Prize.
This book really reveals the hidden stories behind American Medicine and the Deadliest Plague in the History of mankind. Although it took a very long time to get to the point of the story, the histories told were informative and I really liked it. I therefore recommend to all.