John M. Barry

The Great Influenza : The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History

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Highlights

Book FormatPaperback
AuthorJohn M. Barry
Publication DateOctober, 2005
ISBN-139780143036494
GenreMedical/History
<b>#1 <i>New York Times</i> bestseller <p></p>&quot;Monumental... an authoritative and disturbing morality tale.&quot;--<i>Chicago Tribune </i></b> <br /> <b><br /> The strongest weapon against pandemic is the truth. Read why in the definitive account of the 1918 Flu Epidemic. <br /></b> <br /> Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research, <i>The Great Influenza</i> provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon. As Barry concludes, &quot;The final lesson of 1918, a simple one yet one most difficult to execute, is that...those in authority must retain the public's trust. The way to do that is to distort nothing, to put the best face on nothing, to try to manipulate no one. Lincoln said that first, and best. A leader must make whatever horror exists concrete. Only then will people be able to break it apart.&quot; <p></p>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 twenty-four months than AIDS killed in twenty-four 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 of science and epidemic disease.

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#1 New York Times bestseller

"Monumental... an authoritative and disturbing morality tale."--Chicago Tribune


The strongest weapon against pandemic is the truth. Read why in the definitive account of the 1918 Flu Epidemic.

Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research, The Great Influenza provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon. As Barry concludes, "The final lesson of 1918, a simple one yet one most difficult to execute, is that...those in authority must retain the public's trust. The way to do that is to distort nothing, to put the best face on nothing, to try to manipulate no one. Lincoln said that first, and best. A leader must make whatever horror exists concrete. Only then will people be able to break it apart."

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 twenty-four months than AIDS killed in twenty-four 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 of science and epidemic disease.#1 New York Times bestseller

“Barry will teach you almost everything you need to know about one of the deadliest outbreaks in human history.”—Bill Gates, GatesNotes.com

"Monumental... an authoritative and disturbing morality tale."—Chicago Tribune 


The strongest weapon against pandemic is the truth. Read why in the definitive account of the 1918 Flu Epidemic. 

Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research,  The Great Influenza provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon. As Barry concludes, "The final lesson of 1918, a simple one yet one most difficult to execute, is that...those in authority must retain the public's trust. The way to do that is to distort nothing, to put the best face on nothing, to try to manipulate no one. Lincoln said that first, and best. A leader must make whatever horror exists concrete. Only then will people be able to break it apart."   

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 twenty-four months than AIDS killed in twenty-four 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 of science and epidemic disease.

Specifications

Publisher
Penguin Publishing Group
Book Format
Paperback
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
560
Author
John M. Barry
Title
The Great Influenza
ISBN-13
9780143036494
Publication Date
October, 2005
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
8.43 x 5.44 x 1.19 Inches
ISBN-10
0143036491

Customer Reviews

Average Rating:(3.8)out of 5 stars
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Most helpful positive review
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars
History Repeating Itself
This book is a must read for anyone who believes in the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is uncanny how many similarities there are between it and the 1918 pandemic.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
very, very technical and over written
Most helpful positive review
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars
History Repeating Itself
This book is a must read for anyone who believes in the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is uncanny how many similarities there are between it and the 1918 pandemic.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
very, very technical and over written
This book is a must read for anyone who believes in the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is uncanny how many similarities there are between it and the 1918 pandemic.
very, very technical and over written

Frequent mentions

1-5 of 47 reviews
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

History Repeating Itself

This book is a must read for anyone who believes in the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is uncanny how many similarities there are between it and the 1918 pandemic.

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Husband

Very informative. Enjoyed the book.

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Very informative book. Highly recommend.

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

In The Great Influenz...

In "The Great Influenza," John Barry provides a fascinating, thorough, informative and accessible window into the great flu pandemic of 1918 that ravaged the United States and much of the western world. Barry deftly sets the background leading up to the outbreak. This includes the major figures and state of medicine during that pioneering era nearly 100 years ago. Barry notes how, while a handful of physicians and scientists in the world, particularly in western Europe, knew of the germ and cellular theories, by enlarge, most of the medical community in the world still operated on a largely antiquated, inaccurate understanding of medicine and disease. He notes how, up until the late 19th century, almost anyone could get a medical degree and practice medicine, and only a handful of medical schools, like Harvard, and Johns Hopkins had a rigorously clinical model of medicine. Barry traces the confluence of the developing understanding of disease and cellular theory in that day with the outbreak and rapid spread of the virulent influenza of 1918. Thousands of young adults were grouped together in very close quarters while training and preparing to deploy to World War I. This environment proved to be conducive to the rapid spread of a deadly strain of influenza that spread through military barracks, out to the surrounding community, on to much of the country, and eventually much of the western world in the course of a number of months. As this alarming pattern of severe illness, and in many cases, death of the particularly young and old emerged, several medical leaders of the day, began to take action. This included the U.S. surgeon general and chief surgeon of the Army. Their proactive measures, including initiating quarantines, strict sanitation, and early, basic attempts at vaccination, while unable to prevent an epidemic, saved countless lives. This was also a crucial turning point in American medicine, Barry points out, that led to a national and international movement to raise standards for medical training. An increased emphasis on clinical training and better understanding of cellular theory, viruses, and epidemiology also resulted. Medical care advanced by leaps and bounds as a result. Still, the stories and chilling photos of hundreds upon hundreds of bodies being stacked in the streets and left in abandoned homes in major American cities at the height of the outbreak give one pause. In his epilogue, Barry also looks ahead to the next global pandemic from a perspective of not 'if' but rather 'when' it occurs. His predictions about the spread of virulent strains of flu, such as H151, as well as other multi-drug resistant organisms are eerily prescient given recent news of the increased prevalence of such viruses. Overall Barry's book "The Great Influenza" is very readable, informative, engaging and an incredible work of historical and clinical scholarship. Very highly recommended!

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Timely Book

Relevant subject matter. Interesting book. A lot of SCIENCE. Great read. Bill Gates recommended the book


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