During the height of the pandemic lockdowns and closures last year, I decided to read about pandemics throughout history. The 1918 Pandemic was definitely one with significant parallels to the ongoing COVID pandemic. Below is my review of The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry:
A fantastic and timely read, The Great Influenza shows – much like The Great Mortality did with the Black Plague – that when it comes to crises that affect millions that politicians, the media, and human beings pretty much have acted the same way for centuries.
While we may be more technologically advanced than in 1918, humans still act and react to pandemics in much the same way, especially if conflicting information is being given from the political higher-ups and the media they rely on for information.
The book gives us an in-depth look at the evolution of medicine in post-Civil War America, and also introduces us to the key medical players that tried their best to come up with a vaccine for a form of influenza that killed millions all over the world.
If you enjoy history, and are looking for some perspective on what’s going on in the world at this moment in time with COVID-19, I highly, highly recommend The Great Influenza.
Have you read any books about past pandemics or epidemics? Leave a comment with the title!