Bring out your dead and get your vaccine

Product Image: The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History
My rating: 5 out of 5

A rousing trip through medical education, epidemiology, war preparations, political intrigue, and scientific research, The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History kept me riveted for the past three weeks!

John M. Barry, resident scholar at the Center for Bioenvironmental Research at Tulane and Xavier Universities in New Orleans, thoroughly researched the influenza pandemic of 1918. In this detailed and wide-ranging book, Barry shows how the pandemic of 1918 ripped through the world, killing millions in a few months, and demonstrates how the changing face of medical education and research in the U.S. at the time put scientists in the position to finally try to determine the root cause of influenza. Unfortunately, President Woodrow Wilson’s war machine – both the information machine (propaganda and censorship were the name of the game) and the human/mechanical machine (soldiers, drafts, shipyards, etc.) – fed into the rapid spread of the epidemic around the world.

I’m not a huge non-fiction reader (although I’ve been on a non-fiction kick lately), but this book hooked me from the beginning. The people, the stories, and the influenza bug kept me glued to the pages. Highly recommended.