Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World (Paperback)Laura Spinney (author)
Compelling and sharply observant, Pale Rider maps the full history of the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918-1920, which claimed between 50 and 100 million casualties around the world, making it one of the gravest human disasters in history. In this meticulously researched account, Spinney shows how this global catastrophe was as consequential – if not more so – as the two world wars in shaping the modern world.
'Both a saga of tragedies and a detective story... Pale Rider is not just an excavation but a reimagining of the past' - The Guardian
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 demonstrates 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.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 303 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 25 mm
'With superb investigative skill and a delightfully light-hearted writing style, Spinney extends her analysis far beyond the relatively short duration of the plague... I've seldom had so much fun reading about people dying.' - The Times
'Weaves together global history and medical science to great effect ... Riveting.' - The Sunday Times
'Both a saga of tragedies and a detective story... Pale Rider is not just an excavation but a reimagining of the past. ' - The Guardian
'Vividly recreated, grimly fascinating... Coolly, crisply and with a consistently sharp eye for the telling anecdote, Spinney ... demonstrates how the Spanish flu cast a long shadow over the 20th century.' - The Daily Mail
'Magisterial.' - The Observer
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“Fascinating and terrifying”
This is an incredibly interesting and engaging book that tracks the course of one of the worst Pandemics in history, known as The Spanish Flu or The Spanish Lady.
It delves into the possible actual origin of the flu... More
Fascinating and yet frightening. Read the book twice. I'm first in line for the flu jab this coming winter.
A book which couldn't get more timely, this is fascinating reading as we're all in Covid-19 lockdown. Reactions may vary, but personally I find it reassuring to read books like this (also Defoe's... More
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