Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It

by Gina Kolata | Science |
ISBN: 0374157065 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingperryfranwing of Elk Grove, California USA on 5/17/2016
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5 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingperryfranwing from Elk Grove, California USA on Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It
Author: Gina Kolata

The fascinating, true story of the world's deadliest disease. — In 1918, the Great Flu Epidemic felled the young and healthy virtually overnight. An estimated forty million people died as the epidemic raged. Children were left orphaned and families were devastated. As many American soldiers were killed by the 1918 flu as were killed in battle during World War I. And no area of the globe was safe. Eskimos living in remote outposts in the frozen tundra were sickened and killed by the flu in such numbers that entire villages were wiped out.

Scientists have recently rediscovered shards of the flu virus frozen in Alaska and preserved in scraps of tissue in a government warehouse. Gina Kolata, an acclaimed reporter for The New York Times, unravels the mystery of this lethal virus with the high drama of a great adventure story. Delving into the history of the flu and previous epidemics, detailing the science and the latest understanding of this mortal disease, Kolata addresses the prospects for a great epidemic recurring, and, most important, what can be done to prevent it.

Journal Entry 2 by wingperryfranwing at booklady331's nonfiction VBB, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases on Friday, October 13, 2017

Released 1 yr ago (10/13/2017 UTC) at booklady331's nonfiction VBB, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases


Sending off to rhythmbiscuit in CO...selected from the nonfiction VBB...

Journal Entry 3 by rhythmbiscuit at Northglenn, Colorado USA on Wednesday, October 25, 2017
I've long been interested in the 1918 flu epidemic. Thank you for sharing this book!

Journal Entry 4 by rhythmbiscuit at Northglenn, Colorado USA on Thursday, July 05, 2018
I read this book, and I found it fascinating. I especially was interested in the expeditions to Alaska to recover flu victims' lung tissue and the work done at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.

I was disappointed that by the end of the book, there was no definitive answer why the 1918 flu was so deadly. However, since the book was published in 1999, perhaps scientists know more now.

I'm reserving this book for a Nonfiction VBB.

Journal Entry 5 by rhythmbiscuit at Northglenn, Colorado USA on Friday, October 05, 2018

Released 9 mos ago (10/5/2018 UTC) at Northglenn, Colorado USA


I included this book in the Biographies of Things bookbox. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 6 by wing6of8wing at Silver Spring, Maryland USA on Saturday, November 03, 2018
This book came home in the Biographies of Things book box. Appropriate, given that it is flu season. :)

Journal Entry 7 by wing6of8wing at -- Bookbox, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Friday, May 10, 2019

Released 2 mos ago (5/10/2019 UTC) at -- Bookbox, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA


I kind of wish I had read this book before it went out again in the Biographies of Things book box started by MaryZee and continued in her memory. If the topic of this book interests you, you may want to check out a great podcast that talks about infectious diseases and is called This Podcast Will Kill You.

Any future reader or recipient of this book is encouraged to leave a journal entry here on the BookCrossing site to let prior readers know the fate of the book. You can make an anonymous entry without joining the BookCrossing movement, but if you are interested in joining, it is a free and spam-free community where your contact information is not shared with others. Best of all, members receive private messages via e-mail from books like this one when those books are journaled, allowing for long-term relationships between books and readers.

Journal Entry 8 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, May 22, 2019
I was pleased to find this book in the Biographies of Things bookbox. I've already read it, so I'll leave it for someone else, but wanted to add my comments.

This is a fascinating - and often disturbing - account of the "Spanish flu" epidemic of 1918, and of subsequent attempts to pin down the reasons why that particular strain of virus was so lethal. (Among other qualities, that particular virus was highly contagious - it's thought that more than 25% of the US population caught it - and was twenty-five times more lethal than ordinary 'flu, killing on average 2.5% of its victims. Oddly, the fatalities tended to occur more in young, able-bodied people than in the very young or the very old - the death toll at military camps was extremely high.)

The book dwells on the search for the disease-causing agent, various speculations as to where it came from (biological warfare? mutation/transmission from animal or bird species? a combination of two different viruses?), and more recent episodes of different types of 'flu - including the "swine flu" mass-inoculation debacle. The search for actual samples of the 1918 virus is fascinating, too, involving rummaging through massive warehouses of medical samples to digging in the Arctic...

It's written as popular science and is dry but quite readable. Fans of history and of forensic science might enjoy this one.

Journal Entry 9 by wingDove-i-Libriwing at Cape Coral, Florida USA on Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Rec'd as part of MaryZee's Biographies of Things Book Box (Link)
It looks very interesting, and I will be keeping this one here.

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