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The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It… (2006)

por Steven Johnson

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaDiscussões / Menções
3,6821622,479 (3.95)2 / 292
"An account of the worst cholera outbreak in Victorian London--and an exploration of how Dr. John Snow's solution revolutionized the way we think about disease in cities. In the summer of 1854, a devastating cholera outbreak seized London just as it was emerging as a modern city: more than 2 million people packed into a ten-mile circumference, a hub of travel and commerce, continually pushing the limits of infrastructure that's outdated as soon as it's updated. Author Johnson chronicles Snow's day-by-day efforts as he risked his own life to prove how the epidemic was being spread. When he created the map that traced the pattern of outbreak back to its source, Dr. Snow didn't just solve a pressing medical riddle--he established a precedent for the way modern city-dwellers, city planners, physicians, and public officials think about the spread of disease and the development of the modern urban environment.--From publisher description."--From source other than the Library of Congress… (mais)
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    The Medical Detective: John Snow, Cholera and the Mystery of the Broad Street Pump por Sandra Hempel (Ape)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 162 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
While decent enough, I was generally disappointed in The Ghost Map. The story is certainly compelling and Dr. John Snow's pursuit of the early science of geoinformatics in pursuit of defeating cholera is a great story. But Johnson fails to wrap up the tale in a satisfying way, letting the final third of the book drag on indefinitely. ( )
  jugglebird | Feb 18, 2021 |
A manual on taking down received wisdom and the confederacy of dunces that toot and holler behind it. The descriptions of the Miasmists struggling to maintain their world-view, the air was so foul it polluted the water, are sadly too familiar today. John Snow appears to be a saint of hard scrabble science. ( )
  skroah | Dec 14, 2020 |
An interesting view of one of London's widest plagues. A little slow at times, but overall a good overview, and a unique understanding of how our cities have been changed by indoor plumbing. ( )
  GretchenCollins | Dec 10, 2020 |
The story of the cholera outbreak in London that, in memory, began the science of epidemiology and dealt a death blow to the theory of disease-causing “miasma.” Johnson suggests it was much more complicated than that, with “experts” and laypeople fighting and door-to-door data collection carried on in significant part by one amateur vital to the conclusion that cholera was spread by infection-carrying water. This was necessary because figuring out where people got their water in pre-city planning London was quite complicated. ( )
1 vote rivkat | Dec 7, 2020 |
This book, over a decade old, tells the history of one of London’s worst cholera epidemics. It also tells of how John Snow and Henry Whitehead found the cause for the epidemic and transformed how cities managed cholera epidemics and epidemics in general. Knowledge, reason, and data triumphed over ignorance. In his telling, Johnson describes a variety of topics in depth – a telling that informs and inspires modern readers.

During the early Victorian era, the prevailing theory during this outbreak said that unhealthy “miasmas” of pollution caused disease. Cities, whose population had recently exploded, were blamed as instigators. Anesthesiologist and polymath Snow doubted this miasma theory and through data, showed through data that outbreaks were fairly limited to users of a water pump on Broad Street. He died before his theory was vindicated by a clergyman. After the pump was closed and the epidemic was halted, Whitehead managed to trace the case of patient-zero back to a cesspool infected with human wastes communicating with the well. This occurred before the microscope fully connected Vibro cholerae with the illness.

Today, with microscopes and sewage systems, cholera outbreaks are known to be simple to identify and contain. The fecal-oral route simply needs to be stopped – as was done through the closing of the Broad Street pump. This knowledge allowed cities to build a foundation wherein their dense populations could flourish and become healthier. This helped cities grow towards the modern situation where cities house most of human population.

Overall, Johnson’s story engages, entertains, and educates. This work addresses audiences interested in public health, history, and the progress of science. It is especially suitable for advanced high school and college students as it makes the act of knowledge acquisition come alive. More Snows and Whiteheads from many walks of life can be inspired by their observations.

One criticism of this work is evoked: The epilogue manages to ramble off course. Instead of focusing on the impact of this event, Johnson focuses on cities’ place in contemporary world worries (like nuclear warfare, the swine flu, and bioterrorism). He tries to tie these back to the history, but ranges too far from the central storyline to prove helpful. These ramblings seem filled with vague and unfocused anxiety rather than proscriptive progress. ( )
  scottjpearson | Oct 12, 2020 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 162 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
To nonfiction book writers: if you want your book to sell, make huge, dramatic claims with your title and/or subtitle. If you want your book to be a bestseller, you actually have to fulfill those claims. Steven Johnson has done both, again and again.
 

» Adicionar outros autores (3 possíveis)

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Steven Johnsonautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Gibson, BenjaminArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Sklar, AlanNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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"A Klee painting named 'Angelus Novus' shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing in from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such a violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistably propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress."
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For the women in my life:

My mother and sisters, for their amazing work
on the front lines of public health

Alexa, for the gift of Henry Whitehead

and Mame, for introducing me to London so many years ago . . .
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It is August 1854, and London is a city of scavengers.
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"An account of the worst cholera outbreak in Victorian London--and an exploration of how Dr. John Snow's solution revolutionized the way we think about disease in cities. In the summer of 1854, a devastating cholera outbreak seized London just as it was emerging as a modern city: more than 2 million people packed into a ten-mile circumference, a hub of travel and commerce, continually pushing the limits of infrastructure that's outdated as soon as it's updated. Author Johnson chronicles Snow's day-by-day efforts as he risked his own life to prove how the epidemic was being spread. When he created the map that traced the pattern of outbreak back to its source, Dr. Snow didn't just solve a pressing medical riddle--he established a precedent for the way modern city-dwellers, city planners, physicians, and public officials think about the spread of disease and the development of the modern urban environment.--From publisher description."--From source other than the Library of Congress

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