Three Great Books about the 1918 Spanish Flu Outbreak
Learning from what worked and what didn’t throughout America’s medical history.
It’s a truism that society condemns itself to repeating the history it ignores, including the mistakes. The 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak was global in impact, crossing social and political boundaries as if they didn’t exist. These three critically acclaimed authors each take a different focus in examining the Spanish Flu experience.
A fundamental question with any outbreak of a communicable disease, is how did it all begin? While there are a number of theories on the Spanish Flu’s origin it was clearly linked to conditions related to the first World War. The combination of an easily mutating virus, the relatively primitive status of medical research and the political conditions of the time have some remarkable parallels with, and lessons for today.
The Spanish Flu had a far greater impact on the disadvantaged around the world. This disproportionate outcome helped cause many of the social and cultural changes experienced in the first half of the 20th Century.
Written by the senior medical writer for the New York Times, this book tells the story of how researchers chased clues in trying to isolate, identify and combat the flu virus strain causing the Spanish Flu.