America's Forgotten Pandemic

America's Forgotten Pandemic

The Influenza of 1918

Book - 2003
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Between August 1918 and March 1919 the Spanish influenza spread worldwide, claiming over 25 million lives, more people than those perished in the fighting of the First World War. It proved fatal to at least a half-million Americans. Yet, the Spanish flu pandemic is largely forgotten today. In this vivid narrative, Alfred W. Crosby recounts the course of the pandemic during the panic-stricken months of 1918 and 1919, measures its impact on American society, and probes the curious loss of national memory of this cataclysmic event. In a new edition, with a new preface discussing the recent outbreaks of diseases, including the Asian flu and the SARS epidemic, America's Forgotten Pandemic remains both prescient and relevant. Alfred W. Crosby is a Professor Emeritus in American Studies, History and Geography at the University of Texas at Austin, where he taught for over 20 years. His previous books include Throwing Fire (Cambrige, 2002), the Measure of Reality (Cambridge, 1997) and Ecological Imperialism (cambridge, 1986). Ecological Imperialism was the winner of the 1986 Phi Beta Kappa book prize. The Measure of Reality was chosen by the Los Angeles Times as one of the 100 most important books of 1997.
Publisher: Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, c2003
Edition: 2nd ed
ISBN: 9780521541756
Characteristics: xiv, 337 p. : ill. ; 23 cm


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Oct 02, 2015

If you wish to understand the Big Picture, the macro situation, all the variables, please read a complementary book to this to expand your awareness:
Morbid Symptoms: health under capitalism, from the Socialist Register.

Oct 02, 2015

Tiny print:(

nftaussig Feb 19, 2012

Alfred W. Crosby, an emeritus professor of American Studies, History, and Geography at the University of Texas, Austin, describes how the 1918 influenza pandemic affected the United States. Rather than attempting to give a comprehensive account, Crosby gives an overview of the pandemic while focusing the reader's attention on particularly well-documented episodes. He describes the horrific effects of the disease in Philadelphia and San Francisco, on naval ships, and on military bases. He also describes the staggering death toll and the distinguishing characteristics of the 1918 pandemic strain of influenza. Crosby uses data tables and graphs that compare the tolls of the pre-pandemic 1917 influenza strain and the 1918 pandemic influenza strain. The numerate reader will find such data illuminating, particularly the comparison of the age of death for those who died of influenza in 1917 and 1918. Also of interest is Crosby's depiction of how the 1919 peace negotiations in Paris were affected by the third outbreak of the disease there. In discussing how the pandemic affected Samoa and Alaska, Crosby illuminates the effectiveness of public health measures such as quarantines and nursing care in controlling the spread of the disease. Crosby's concluding chapter addresses the lack of attention paid to a pandemic that killed 675,000 Americans in American history books and literature (with the notable exception of Katherine Anne Porter's Pale Horse, Pale Rider). To some extent, this book corrected that historical amnesia. Influenza researchers such as Jeffrey Taubenberger of the Centers for Disease Control have cited this book as their inspiration to do research in the field.


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nftaussig Dec 08, 2011

nftaussig thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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