Between August 1918 and March 1919 the Spanish influenza spread worldwide, claiming over 25 million lives - more people than 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. This 2003 edition includes a preface discussing the then recent outbreaks of diseases, including the Asian flu and the SARS epidemic.