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The American Plague

The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, The Epidemic That Shaped Our History
Narrated by: Paul Woodson
Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Medicine
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

Non-member price: $38.95

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Publisher's Summary

Over the course of history, yellow fever has paralyzed governments, halted commerce, quarantined cities, moved the U.S. capital, and altered the outcome of wars. During a single summer in Memphis alone, it cost more lives than the Chicago fire, the San Francisco earthquake, and the Johnstown flood combined.

In 1900, the U.S. sent three doctors to Cuba to discover how yellow fever was spread. There, they launched one of history's most controversial human studies. Compelling and terrifying, The American Plague depicts the story of yellow fever and its reign in this country - and in Africa, where even today it strikes thousands every year. With "arresting tales of heroism," it is a story as much about the nature of human beings as it is about the nature of disease.

©2006 Molly Caldwell Crosby (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Gripping...highly readable." Newsweek

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  • Kevin P Key
  • 13-04-2020

Yellow Fever in Memphis

Yellow fever ravaged Memphis, peaking in 1878. The city went from a population of 47,000 to 19k in months. This book covers its origins in Africa, describes daily living, medical care, churches, and the deaths and burials of the victims.
The epidemic sparked a virologist coordinated lead team which tackled the disease. Walter Reed was a leader during the research. My great 3x grandparents and 6 other relatives died in the epidemic and are buried together in a family plot.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mary
  • 12-08-2020

Loaded with info and well presented

I have not heard the story of "Yellow Fever" before. It was good to learn new data and it's history..

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  • Sylvia
  • 08-07-2020

Detailed history narrated quite well

I was naturally intrigued by this book given my experience with mosquito-borne and other infectious diseases. Loved the simplicity in writing and the clarity of its narration. Well done!

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  • eve
  • 21-12-2018

Too long

Many books do not lend themselves to abridgment, their every word being important and necessary to the story while others are needlessly long. This book is the latter.