Excellent audiobook on the state of sanitation and the medical community in what was the most advanced civilized society of the times. Individual stories, explanations of medical theories, and the moral beliefs in London just as cities became magnets for jobseekers are all explained clearly, drawing a clear picture of what it must have been like to be poor in London at the time. Though narrated with an American accent, it was well performed.
When covering the events and people related to the Cholera outbreak of 1854, this book was enjoyable. Sadly, the epilogue was not as informative or enjoyable because of several inaccuracies relating to the influenza virus. Mr. Johnson failed to mention that one of the reasons that Avian influenza is so virulent is because it is a novel virus, i.e. a virus that the human population has not been previously exposed to, leading to a population that does not have immunity to the virus. Mr. Johnson also incorrectly states that the influenza virus is a DNA virus--influenza is an RNA virus.
This book is truly fantastic. Thoroughly engaging and covers much more than simply London's cholera outbreak, and yet did an excellent job doing that as well. I keep it on my Garmin at all times. I can't say enough about this book.
OK, it sounds like a history of cholera would be a real snoozer, but I was riveted by the construction of the mystery and its solution. Lots of great history in it, if you like health or technology topics. The epilogue is one of the most thought-provoking pieces on urban life I've listened to in a while.
Great story told pretty well. Lots to tell us about the modern situation as to whether we accept the conventional wisdom without applying critical thinking. Author only hints at the fact that water was sold by companies that had a vested interest in cholera being caused by something else and could pay advocates to promote that position, whereas the air was sold by no one and had no advocates except the amatruer scientist that are the heroes of this story. That makes it a little more understandable why the miasma theory of causation continued so long with so little support.
This book meets that fine line where history becomes a fascinating story without surrendering academic quality. This is an excellent book for any one curious about the history of epidemiology, urban development, or even just a picture into how frightening the world of the not so distant past really was...
I work. I ski. I play. I write. I have a family. I garden. I coach. I volunteer. I sketch. I run. I read.
I would recommend this audiobook to a friend. The beginning is captivating. The historical content is grasping. The studies of demographics, socio-graphics, map making, and science are interesting.
My favorite characters are the people living in these Victorian times. I enjoyed the insight of the daily life.
He seems to have a dry sense of humor that creeps in every once in a while.
I did want to listen to it all in one sitting but it's too long.
diarrhea... cha cha cha... diarrhea
Diseases can be so interesting. This book takes you on a trip back to Victorian London where people dumped crap in their basements, threw buckets of it out the window and let it sit around in open cesspools.
The story starts with a sick baby's soiled diapers and goes on to describe how Baby Lewis' waste infected water from the Broad Street Pump and killed an enormous amount of people in eight days. Dr. John Snow and the Rev. Henry Whitehead started on two separate paths to solve the mystery as to what was killing the population and ended up combining their efforts to produce a treatise on the dangers of contaminated water.
I loved the description of people who made their living collecting poo and how this process is good for society in general. The most boring part was when the author recited every question that was listed in the Board of Public Health questionnaire.
The last chapter is dedicated to what the cholera outbreak in London has to do with us now and for our future. That part is very scary.
This tale of John Snow, a researcher who sought the cause of a massive and lethal outbreak of what would ultimately be known as Cholera, in 1850s England, does a fine job of illustrating life and the habits that led to the outbreak, as well as the fear and helplessness of people who lived whilst the scourge was underway. Snow's dogged efforts to locate the origins and "map" the outbreak, as well as his frustrations with public officials, who were slow to move away from erroneous, but more accepted, ideas about the source of cholera, have shaped public health policies for growing cities since. He also helped devise early anesthesia at a time when surgeons worked without it. Given a 4 (4.5 really) for the story because the conclusion gets a bit long. Still, this work is very interesting and we all owe much to Mr. Snow, especially when we sip a refreshing glass of water from the tap.
I loved that Mr. Snow's work was validated by other scientists. It also was pretty amazing to see someone focus so fully on stopping this disease.
Teacher, permaculture designer, master gardener, and systemes thinker.
After listening to Steven's 'Where Good Ideas Come From', I knew that I had to hear more; 'The Ghost Map' did not disappoint.
Reading like a novel, this masterpiece of investigative story telling chronicles life in 19th century London and the brilliant and serendipitous coming together of the ideas needed to combat cholera.
I absolutely love Steven's analogy of the city as an ecosystem and his overarching description of how very conditions that lead to the pandemic of1854 were the very conditions that solved it.
Excellent narration by Alan Sklar; I know that narration can make or break an audiobook but I would go so far as to say that I can't imagine an audiobook that wouldn't be made better by this guy's narration.