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6+ verk 666 medlemmar 34 recensioner 1 favoritmärkta

Verk av Laura Spinney

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The Guardian science course : Part IV : Humans — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
New Scientist, 3 February 2007 (2007) — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar


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While full of information and a decent read, this book also struggled with being thinly sourced and reading - at times - more like a college paper than a full-fledged book.

Also of note - this book has base information about the flu, and historical information to support the author's narrative. It is NOT meant as an all-encompassing history of the Spanish flu.

Recommended for those who would like to begin learning about the Spanish flu and/or the public health perspective re: pandemics / epidemics.… (mer)
alrajul | 32 andra recensioner | Jun 1, 2023 |
I did learn some interesting things from this book, but ultimately it wasn't what I was looking for regarding a social history of the Spanish flu.
The author fairly warned her audience at the beginning that she was going to circle around and around the topic instead of telling about it in a linear format. Unfortunately, that made the book feel fragmented and superficial. I wanted a thought-provoking social history about how governments and individuals responded the the threat of the flu, the restrictions that impacted their daily lives, and the way they thought about it afterwards. I wanted an answer to the question, "How could an event that took MORE lives than possibly both world wars combined have become a footnote in history?" I didn't get those things. Instead, I got quite a bit of scattered political context, unrelated asides, and LOTS of speculation. There was a little bit of good commentary, which I've included in my Kindle highlights. But I may keep on looking for a different type of book.

My impetus for reading a book like this was having lived through nearly a year of a pandemic and realizing that the pandemic of 100 years ago must have been considerably more life-changing than I ever realized. I wanted to delve into that.

That disappointment aside, I did get a slightly better grasp on the facts of the flu itself. And now I know why it's called the "Spanish" flu... even though it possibly started in Kansas and had nothing to do with Spain other than infecting people there like it did everywhere. Crazy.
… (mer)
Alishadt | 32 andra recensioner | Feb 25, 2023 |
Good history of the huge Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918-20. (Of course, not from Spain.) People then didn’t know much about viral outbreaks, esp since the term “virus” was just a vague theoretical concept. But having learned much more than I ever wanted to know about viral epidemics in the last 3 years, it was amazing to read this book, published 5 years ago, and to realize how we could have been so much better prepared for COVID if only…

Very readable, but sometimes wandered a bit from the topic to explore little tidbits of history that didn’t have much to do with the flu.… (mer)
steve02476 | 32 andra recensioner | Jan 3, 2023 |
This book provides a global perspective on the “Spanish” influenza of 1918 (which did not originate in Spain) that killed between 50 and 100 million people. Chapter One recounts the history of flu viruses, providing the context for the rest of the book. The middle chapters focus on the virus itself – where it originated (most likely Kansas, US), how it spread, and its impact throughout the world. The final chapter brings up the potential for future pandemics and what we can do to be prepared. It was released in 2017, so the “future” being described would include COVID-19.

It provides a logical, well-structured discussion of the science behind viruses, germ theory, genetics, disease transmission, and what was (and was not) known in 1918. It speaks of the three waves of the virus, and how they were staggered in the northern and southern hemispheres. It calls attention to the fact that viruses mutate – this is a normal progression and should not be considered surprising or alarming.

Content includes the importance of detection, tracking the spread, and compliance with safety measures (masks, limits on mass gatherings, social distancing, vaccinations). There is a decent discussion of how flu can originate in animals and be transmitted to humans (bird, horses, ferrets). The importance of attaining herd immunity is stressed.

I appreciate Spinney’s analysis, which is based upon a detailed review of historical and scientific documentation. It includes anecdotes from people around the world – Australia, Brazil, China, UK, US, Persia, Russia, Samoa, Spain, South Africa, Vanuatu, just to name a few. It outlines the groundwork being done in the scientific community to study these viruses and enable vaccines to be developed more quickly. This book is a great example of how we can learn from what has transpired in the past.

I have an interest in both science and history, so I found it engaging. It is remarkable that the fallout we have seen in terms of social, cultural, political, and information delivery can all be correlated to what happened in 1918, but on a different scale due to less scientific knowledge and technological development. I think it is a good idea to read about influenza and pandemics in order to gain an understanding of the facts.
… (mer)
Castlelass | 32 andra recensioner | Oct 30, 2022 |



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