The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History

The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History

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In the winter of 1918, at the height of World War I, history’s most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. It killed more people in 24 weeks than AIDS has killed in 24 years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. But this was not the Middle Ages, and 1918 marked the first collision between modern science and epidemic disease.

Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research, The Great Influenza weaves together multiple narratives, with characters ranging from William Welch, founder of the Johns Hopkins Medical School, to John D. Rockefeller and Woodrow Wilson. Ultimately a tale of triumph amid tragedy, this crisis provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon.

©2004, 2005 John M. Barry (P)2006 Penguin Audio