The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World
From the dynamic thinker routinely compared to Malcolm Gladwell, E. O. Wilson, and James Gleick, The Ghost Map is a riveting page-turner with a real-life historical hero that brilliantly illuminates the intertwined histories of the spread of viruses, rise of cities, and the nature of scientific... show more
From the dynamic thinker routinely compared to Malcolm Gladwell, E. O. Wilson, and James Gleick, The Ghost Map is a riveting page-turner with a real-life historical hero that brilliantly illuminates the intertwined histories of the spread of viruses, rise of cities, and the nature of scientific inquiry. These are topics that have long obsessed Steven Johnson, and The Ghost Map is a true triumph of the kind of multidisciplinary thinking for which he's become famous-a book that, like the work of Jared Diamond, presents both vivid history and a powerful and provocative explanation of what it means for the world we live in. The Ghost Map takes place in the summer of 1854. A devastating cholera outbreak seizes London just as it is emerging as a modern city: more than 2 million people packed into a ten-mile circumference, a hub of travel and commerce, teeming with people from all over the world, continually pushing the limits of infrastructure that's outdated as soon as it's updated. Dr. John Snow—whose ideas about contagion had been dismissed by the scientific community—is spurred to intense action when the people in his neighborhood begin dying. With enthralling suspense, Johnson chronicles Snow's day-by-day efforts, as he risks his own life to prove how the epidemic is being spread. When he creates the map that traces the pattern of outbreak back to its source, Dr. Snow didn't just solve the most pressing medical riddle of his time. He ultimately established a precedent for the way modern city-dwellers, city planners, physicians, and public officials think about the spread of disease and the development of the modern urban environment. The Ghost Map is an endlessly compelling and utterly gripping account of that London summer of 1854, from the microbial level to the macrourban-theory level—including, most important, the human level. Watch a QuickTime trailer for this book.
Publish date: October 19th 2006
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover
Pages no: 299
Edition language: English
, European Literature
, British Literature
, Book Club
, History Of Science
Follows a cholera epidemic in London through a doctor and a minister. Interesting but at times I had to re-read parts to understand what he was explaining. I liked the research of the doctor and the minister to track down where the cholera started and to keep it from spreading or recurring. Also enj...
Some of the things we know now about medicine—hygiene prevents illness, the four humours are bunk, mercury doesn't cure anything—seem so simple that medical history would be laughable if it hadn't been so deadly. It's easy to forget that it took us thousands of years to get to where we are. Steven J...
bookshelves: history, sciences, plague-disease, nonfiction Read in August, 2008 Broadwick Street showing the John Snow memorial and pubSnow was a skeptic of the then-dominant miasma theory that stated held that diseases such as cholera or the Black Death were caused by pollution or a noxious for...
I first learned about the 1854 Broad Street cholera epidemic when I listened to Documents that Changed the World podcasts: John Snow’s Cholera Map, 1854. This podcast was narrated by my friend and former colleague Andy. I believe that this podcast, as well as others in this series are available on...
I had to read this for one of my classes at university. It's about the cholera outbreak in London when they figured out how cholera was spread, and the 2 guys who figured it out. It was very dryly written, but many aspects of the book were fascinating. The problem was that Johnson would go off topic...