Cover image for Pale rider : the Spanish Flu of 1918 and how it changed the world
Pale rider : the Spanish Flu of 1918 and how it changed the world
Spinney, Laura, author.
Personal Author:
First US Edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Public Affairs, 2017.

Physical Description:
viii, 332 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
"The Spanish flu of 1918-1920 was one of the greatest human disasters of all time. It infected a third of the people on Earth--from the poorest immigrants of New York City to the king of Spain, Franz Kafka, Mahatma Gandhi and Woodrow Wilson. But despite a death toll of between 50 and 100 million people, it exists in our memory as an afterthought to World War I. In this gripping narrative history, Laura Spinney traces the overlooked pandemic to reveal how the virus traveled across the globe, exposing mankind's vulnerability and putting our ingenuity to the test. As socially significant as both world wars, the Spanish flu dramatically disrupted--and often permanently altered--global politics, race relations and family structures, while spurring innovation in medicine, religion and the arts. It was partly responsible, Spinney argues, for pushing India to independence, South Africa to apartheid and Switzerland to the brink of civil war. It also created the true "lost generation." Drawing on the latest research in history, virology, epidemiology, psychology and economics, Pale Rider masterfully recounts the little-known catastrophe that forever changed humanity"--Amazon.
Introduction: The elephant in the room -- part 1. The unwalled city: Coughs and sneezes ; The monads of Leibniz -- part 2. Anatomy of a pandemic: Ripples on a pond ; Like a thief in the night -- part 3. Manhu, or What is it?: Disease eleven ; The doctors' dilemma ; The wrath of God -- part 4. The survival instinct: Chalking doors with crosses ; The placebo effect ; Good Samaritans -- part 5. Post mortem: The hunt for patient zero ; Counting the dead -- part 6. Science redeemed: Aenigmoplasma influenzae ; Beware the barnyard ; The human factor -- part 7. The post-flu world: The green shoots of recovery ; Alternate histories ; Anti-science, science ; Healthcare for all? ; War and peace ; Melancholy muse -- part 8. Roscoe's legacy -- Afterword: On memory.
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