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America's Forgotten Pandemic

America's Forgotten Pandemic
The Influenza of 1918

2nd Edition

$29.99 (G)

  • Date Published: July 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521541756

$ 29.99 (G)

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About the Authors
  • Between August 1918 and March 1919 the Spanish influenza spread worldwide, claiming over 25 million lives, more people than those perished in the fighting of the First World War. It proved fatal to at least a half-million Americans. Yet, the Spanish flu pandemic is largely forgotten today. In this vivid narrative, Alfred W. Crosby recounts the course of the pandemic during the panic-stricken months of 1918 and 1919, measures its impact on American society, and probes the curious loss of national memory of this cataclysmic event. In a new edition, with a new preface discussing the recent outbreaks of diseases, including the Asian flu and the SARS epidemic, America's Forgotten Pandemic remains both prescient and relevant. Alfred W. Crosby is a Professor Emeritus in American Studies, History and Geography at the University of Texas at Austin, where he taught for over 20 years. His previous books include Throwing Fire (Cambrige, 2002), the Measure of Reality (Cambridge, 1997) and Ecological Imperialism (cambridge, 1986). Ecological Imperialism was the winner of the 1986 Phi Beta Kappa book prize. The Measure of Reality was chosen by the Los Angeles Times as one of the 100 most important books of 1997.

    • Narrative history of Spanish influenza pandemic of 1919–20 in the US
    • Re-engages with a cataclysmic event that claimed over 25 million lives
    • Suggests comparisons to recent disease outbreaks such as Asian Flu, and the SARS outbreak of 2003
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Crosby will retain his reputation as a senior statesman of the 1918 influenza epidemic, as one of the first to study it comprehensively..." Linda Bryder, The International History Review

    "[This] is a definitive account of the 1918 influenza epidemic in the United States. Alfred Crosby has systematically covered the effect of influenza upon the armed forces, major cities, and American territories. Over and above this he has depicted the spread and impact of the disease over a good part of the world." Journal of the History of Medicine

    "[This] is a fine, galloping account of the influenza pandemic that killed some 25 million people in less than a year. In some ways it was a page out of the Middle Ages bound in the twentieth century. No plague ever killed so many people in so short a time." Natural History

    "Thoroughly researched and rich in detail, Crosby's book carefully narrates the rise and fall of the global pandemic, especially as it affected the United States." Medical History

    "...fascinating..." New York Sun

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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: July 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521541756
    • length: 356 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 1 map 9 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. An Abrupt Introduction to Spanish Influenza:
    1. The great shadow
    Part II. Spanish Influenza: The First Wave - Spring and Summer, 1918:
    2. The advance of the influenza virus
    3. Three explosions - Africa, Europe, and America
    Part III. The Second and Third Waves:
    4. The United States begins to take note
    5. Spanish Influenza sweeps the country
    6. Flu in Philadelphia
    7. Flu in San Francisco
    8. Flu at sea on voyage to France
    9. Flu and the American expeditionary force
    10. Flu and the Paris Peace Conference
    Part IV. Measurements, Research, Conclusions, and Confusions:
    11. Statistics, definitions, and speculations
    12. Samoa and Alaska
    13. Research, frustration, and the isolation of the virus
    14. Where did the flu of 1918 go?
    Part V. Afterword:
    15. An inquiry in the peculiarities of human memory.

  • Author

    Alfred W. Crosby, University of Texas, Austin

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