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The American Plague
ISBN: 9780425217757
Author: Crosby, Molly Caldwell
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Published: September 2007
Retail: $16.00    OUR PRICE: $1.99
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Binding Type: Paperback
Annotation: In a summer of panic and death in 1878, more than half the population of Memphis, Tennessee, fled the yellow fever epidemic. In her account, Crosby profiles several scientists, some of whom died in their fight to identify the cause of this disease that remains a threat to this very day.
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- History | United States | State & Local
- Medical | Infectious Diseases
Library of Congress Subjects:
Yellow fever; History.
Yellow fever; Tennessee; Memphis; History.
Dewey: 614.5/41
LCCN: bl2007022166
Academic/Grade Level: General Adult
Book type: Non-Fiction
BISAC category:
Physical Information: 1.00" H x 100.00" L x 5.75" W
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:
In this account, a journalist traces the course of yellow fever, stopping in 1878 Memphis to "vividly evoke] the Faulkner-meets-'Dawn of the Dead' horrors,"*-and moving on to today's strain of the killer virus. 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.

Contributor Bio(s): lly Caldwell Crosby has previously worked for National Geographic magazine, and her writing has appeared in Newsweek, Health, and USA Today, among others.
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2006 September #2)

In a summer of panic and death in 1878, more than half the population of Memphis, Tenn., fled the raging yellow fever epidemic, which finally waned when cooler weather set in. The disease had been transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which came in swarms on ships from the Caribbean or West Africa. This account has a narrower scope than James Dickerson's recent Yellow Fever , focusing on the Memphis tragedy, but journalist Crosby offers a forceful narrative of a disease's ravages and the quest to find its cause and cure. Crosby is particularly good at evoking the horrific conditions in Memphis, "a city of corpses" and rife with illness characterized by high fever, black vomit and hemorrhaging, treated by primitive methods. Crosby also relates arresting tales of heroism, such as how two nuns returned to the quarantined city from a vacation to nurse the victims. The author profiles scientists, some of whom died in their fight to identify the cause of this deadly disease. She also describes more recent outbreaks in Africa: yellow fever is making a frightening comeback despite the existence of a vaccine. Photos. Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers selection. (Nov. 7)

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