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Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How…
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Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World (urspr publ 2017; utgåvan 2018)

av Laura Spinney (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
6463334,630 (3.93)65
"The Spanish flu of 1918-1920 was one of the greatest human disasters of all time. It infected a third of the people on Earth--from the poorest immigrants of New York City to the king of Spain, Franz Kafka, Mahatma Gandhi and Woodrow Wilson. But despite a death toll of between 50 and 100 million people, it exists in our memory as an afterthought to World War I. In this gripping narrative history, Laura Spinney traces the overlooked pandemic to reveal how the virus traveled across the globe, exposing mankind's vulnerability and putting our ingenuity to the test. As socially significant as both world wars, the Spanish flu dramatically disrupted--and often permanently altered--global politics, race relations and family structures, while spurring innovation in medicine, religion and the arts. It was partly responsible, Spinney argues, for pushing India to independence, South Africa to apartheid and Switzerland to the brink of civil war. It also created the true "lost generation." Drawing on the latest research in history, virology, epidemiology, psychology and economics, Pale Rider masterfully recounts the little-known catastrophe that forever changed humanity"--Amazon.… (mer)
Medlem:parzivalTheVirtual
Titel:Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World
Författare:Laura Spinney (Författare)
Info:Vintage (2018), 352 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:to-read

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Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World av Laura Spinney (2017)

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» Se även 65 omnämnanden

engelska (26)  spanska (5)  nederländska (2)  Alla språk (33)
Visa 1-5 av 33 (nästa | visa alla)
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. ( )
  alrajul | 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. ( )
  Alishadt | 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. ( )
  steve02476 | 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.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
Pearl Rule #8 (7%)

The Publisher Says: With a death toll of between 50 and 100 million people and a global reach, the Spanish flu of 1918–1920 was the greatest human disaster, not only of the twentieth century, but possibly in all of recorded history. And yet, in our popular conception it exists largely as a footnote to World War I.

In Pale Rider, Laura Spinney recounts the story of an overlooked pandemic, tracing it from Alaska to Brazil, from Persia to Spain, and from South Africa to Odessa. She shows how the pandemic was shaped by the interaction of a virus and the humans it encountered; and how this devastating natural experiment put both the ingenuity and the vulnerability of humans to the test.

Laura Spinney writes that the Spanish flu was as significant—if not more so—as two world wars in shaping the modern world; in disrupting, and often permanently altering, global politics, race relations, family structures, and thinking across medicine, religion and the arts.

I spent $1.99 on Kindlesale. It makes me mad that I can't get it back.

My Review
: I bought into the author's justification for not making the book one linear, beginning-middle-end story. The social parts and the science parts are very different and they interacted but were never remotely in sync, so trying to stay purely chronological sounds like a bad plan.

What I got instead was borderline incoherent, with paragraph-by-paragraph switches among authorial opinions, statements of fact unsupported by citations, and stodgy-wodgy bits of statistical stuff. This tiger of a topic was less ridden by the author than it rode the author. I felt frazzled by the time I realized I was not going to have a better experience later on...I flipped through some random spots and found that I was getting the same structure.

Not what I want, or what I will accept, from narrative non-fiction. ( )
  richardderus | Apr 20, 2022 |
Visa 1-5 av 33 (nästa | visa alla)
"Een vaccin gaat onze problemen niet oplossen .. Nu komt het aan op medewerking van het publiek. Het is daarbij essentieel dat de overheid eerlijk blijft tegen haar burgers
 

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Introduction
Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany abdicated on 9 November 1918 and in the streets of Paris there was jubilation.
Sometime around the winter solstice of 412 BC, a cough wracked the people of Perinthus, a port city on the Sea of Marmara in what was then northern Greece.
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...the demands of national security, a thriving economy and public health are rarely aligned, and elected representatives defending the first two undermine the third...
Victorian science would have left the world hard and clean and care, like a landscape in the moon, but this science is in truth but a little light in the darkness, and outside that limited circle of definite knowledge we see the loom and shadow of gigantic and fantastic possibilities around us, throwing themselves continually across our consciousness in such ways that it is difficult to ignore them. - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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"The Spanish flu of 1918-1920 was one of the greatest human disasters of all time. It infected a third of the people on Earth--from the poorest immigrants of New York City to the king of Spain, Franz Kafka, Mahatma Gandhi and Woodrow Wilson. But despite a death toll of between 50 and 100 million people, it exists in our memory as an afterthought to World War I. In this gripping narrative history, Laura Spinney traces the overlooked pandemic to reveal how the virus traveled across the globe, exposing mankind's vulnerability and putting our ingenuity to the test. As socially significant as both world wars, the Spanish flu dramatically disrupted--and often permanently altered--global politics, race relations and family structures, while spurring innovation in medicine, religion and the arts. It was partly responsible, Spinney argues, for pushing India to independence, South Africa to apartheid and Switzerland to the brink of civil war. It also created the true "lost generation." Drawing on the latest research in history, virology, epidemiology, psychology and economics, Pale Rider masterfully recounts the little-known catastrophe that forever changed humanity"--Amazon.

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