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The Great Influenza: The Story of the…
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The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History (2005. Auflage)

von John M. Barry (Autor)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen / Diskussionen
3,4391112,807 (3.94)2 / 218
"In the winter of 1918, the coldest the American Midwest had ever endured, history's most lethal influenza virus was born. Over the next year it flourished, killing as many as 100 million people. It killed more people in twenty-four weeks than AIDS has killed in twenty-four years, more people in a year than the Black Death of the Middle Ages killed in a century. There were many echoes of the Middle Ages in 1918: victims turned blue-black and priests in some of the world's most modern cities drove horse-drawn carts down the streets, calling upon people to bring out their dead." "But 1918 was not the Middle Ages, and the story of this epidemic is not simply one of death, suffering, and terror; it is the story of one war imposed upon the background of another. For the first time in history, science collided with epidemic disease, and great scientists - pioneers who defined modern American medicine - pitted themselves against a pestilence. The politicians and military commanders of World War I, focusing upon a different type of enemy, ignored warnings from these scientists and so fostered conditions that helped the virus kill. The strain of these two wars put society itself under almost unimaginable pressure. Even as scientists began to make progress, the larger society around them began to crack." "Yet ultimately this is a story of triumph amidst tragedy, illuminating human courage as well as science. In particular, this courage led a tenacious investigator directly to one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the twentieth century - a discovery that has spawned many Nobel prizes and even now is shaping our future."--BOOK JACKET.… (mehr)
Mitglied:singleton245
Titel:The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History
Autoren:John M. Barry (Autor)
Info:Penguin Books (2005), Edition: Revised ed., 546 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
Bewertung:
Tags:Keine

Werk-Details

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History von John M. Barry

  1. 40
    Flu von Gina Kolata (hailelib)
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    The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World von Steven Johnson (John_Vaughan)
  3. 32
    Das Pesttuch von Geraldine Brooks (labfs39)
    labfs39: For a non-fiction account of an epidemic that many thought was the Black Plague come again
  4. 10
    The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, The Epidemic That Shaped Our History von Molly Caldwell Crosby (John_Vaughan)
  5. 00
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    M_Clark: This book talks about many of the plagues that have erupted throughout history and how they have influenced the course of history.
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    Fever 1793 von Laurie Halse Anderson (infiniteletters)
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The so-called 7 billion dollar book. Fascinating. Not only a excellent history of this epidemic but a history of medical practice in the United States which was an eye opener. ( )
  geraldinefm | Jul 22, 2021 |
An amazingly complete and thorough history of the pandemic, including detailed backgrounds of the major players. ( )
  grandpahobo | Jul 11, 2021 |
An analysis of the 1918-1919 pandemic, which not only looks at the disease itself (and there's some minor education in how disease works), but also a history of medical research in the half-century prior, and a look at some of the key personalities involved. This book came out some years before the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's interesting to see that the author foresaw some of the issues involved, including where governments fail. I think one of the small flaws in the book is a sometimes flip, sometimes annoyingly repetitive bit of snark ("only influenza"), but there are enough insights (even without COVID) to make this an interesting read. ( )
  EricCostello | Jul 5, 2021 |
This is, obviously, a highly relevant book under the current circumstances. I heard the author interviewed on Fresh Air and learned that the book, published in 2004, is on the current best seller lists. I gave it four stars only because I felt if flagged in the sections about the science researchers during and after the pandemic. For me, those sections were too biographic about a bunch of people I couldn’t keep straight. But this is really a quibble—I was listening to the audiobook which may have contributed.

The parts of the book about the suffering and the social and governmental responses were eye-opening. The government mainly did nothing other than spin reality, lie, minimize, and ignore advice, all of which would be more stunning if we weren’t living through the same thing now. Woodrow Wilson never made a single public statement about the pandemic! While he may not have been quite the whack job that is the Current Occupant, he was equally incompetent. The government strove to minimize fear and panic, but by lying created just that and lost all public trust.

The Afterword is worth reading on its own and puts paid to any notion the the Covid 19 pandemic is an unanticipated stroke of misfortune out of the blue: the arrival of some devastating viral illness has been predicted and understood for decades. The containment efforts (quarantine, social-distancing, masks) were deployed in 1918 much as they are today, and yet 10 decades later, the government was ENTIRELY unprepared: no contingency plans, no stockpiles, no prepared public messaging. And Barry was writing this Afterword in (I’m guessing) 2006, not last month.

The curious part of me thinks books could be written about the social psychology of response to big scary events. But maybe John Barry has it down when he writes that the duty of leaders is to make the threat specific and concrete, which itself quiets the fear and allows groups and individual to get on with practical and reasoned responses. ( )
  jdukuray | Jun 23, 2021 |
Being that we're in the midst of a pandemic, it seems appropriate to read a book about the most comparable event in recent history.

The format of this book took me by surprise: it is really a history of medical science, spanning roughly a century from the middle of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th. Although Barry covers the grim details of the pandemic itself, it's scaffolded on a story of the scientific evolution and discovery.

Global population was roughly 1.8 billion around the time of the 1918 pandemic, and total deaths came to around 100 million according to the numbers Barry cites, giving a death rate of 5.5%. Today, our population is around 7.8 billion, and about 3 million people have died from COVID, making a death rate of 0.4%. Death rates were significantly higher in majority-world population in 1918, with death rates in some indigenous communities reaching 100%!

I was surprised to learn about the state of public health at the time. Social distancing and masks were widespread, and photos from the era look strikingly similar to photos from today.

It's impossible to understand the 1918 pandemic without understanding the context of World War I. The book is almost as much about the war as it is about disease. The point being: wars always spread disease, and during a war, all else is sacrificed for the purpose of victory. If the pandemic had shown up in peacetime, it would have spread much less slowly, and civilian populations would be much better taken care of. And most importantly, newspapers would have likely been more truthful. No one knew what was going on during the pandemic, because newspapers across the world didn't speak about it, which made the populace understandably distrustful and fearful.

One striking point the author makes is that the world today is actually less prepared to handle a pandemic similar to the 1918 pandemic because we now have a significant proportion of the population that is immunocompromised (which was not the case in 1918).

Barry notes that, unlike wars, pandemics are notably absent from fiction. For whatever reason, people simply don't want to write about them.

The book could be shorter. Sometimes Barry goes on lengthy tangents, or dives a little too deeply into subjects. That said, it still has good pacing, likely due to the chilling content. ( )
  willszal | Apr 13, 2021 |
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.
hinzugefügt von John_Vaughan | bearbeitenlection, 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.'
hinzugefügt von pbirch01 | bearbeitenNew York Times, Barry Gewen (Mar 14, 2004)
 

» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (1 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
John M. BarryHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Belanger, FrancescaGestaltungCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Ogolter, MartinUmschlaggestalterCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Robert, RichardTraductionCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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"In the winter of 1918, the coldest the American Midwest had ever endured, history's most lethal influenza virus was born. Over the next year it flourished, killing as many as 100 million people. It killed more people in twenty-four weeks than AIDS has killed in twenty-four years, more people in a year than the Black Death of the Middle Ages killed in a century. There were many echoes of the Middle Ages in 1918: victims turned blue-black and priests in some of the world's most modern cities drove horse-drawn carts down the streets, calling upon people to bring out their dead." "But 1918 was not the Middle Ages, and the story of this epidemic is not simply one of death, suffering, and terror; it is the story of one war imposed upon the background of another. For the first time in history, science collided with epidemic disease, and great scientists - pioneers who defined modern American medicine - pitted themselves against a pestilence. The politicians and military commanders of World War I, focusing upon a different type of enemy, ignored warnings from these scientists and so fostered conditions that helped the virus kill. The strain of these two wars put society itself under almost unimaginable pressure. Even as scientists began to make progress, the larger society around them began to crack." "Yet ultimately this is a story of triumph amidst tragedy, illuminating human courage as well as science. In particular, this courage led a tenacious investigator directly to one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the twentieth century - a discovery that has spawned many Nobel prizes and even now is shaping our future."--BOOK JACKET.

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