The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - And How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World

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Riverhead Books, 2006 - History - 299 pages
263 Reviews
A National Bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book, and an Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Year

From Steven Johnson, the dynamic thinker routinely compared to James Gleick, Dava Sobel, and Malcolm Gladwell, The Ghost Map is a riveting page-turner about a real-life historical hero, Dr. John Snow. It's the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure -- garbage removal, clean water, sewers -- necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action-and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time.

In a triumph of multidisciplinary thinking, Johnson illuminates the intertwined histories and interconnectedness of the spread of disease, contagion theory, the rise of cities, and the nature of scientific inquiry, offering both a riveting history and a powerful explanation of how it has shaped the world we live in.

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Easy to read, informative, thought-provoking. - Goodreads
Interesting depiction of just how filthy London was. - Goodreads
Johnson is a very interesting and far-ranging writer. - Goodreads
I would say it was very good historical writing. - Goodreads

Review: The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World

User Review  - Ted Graham - Goodreads

An excellent book. A well-written account that blends history, science and sociology. A well researched accounting of London's cholera outbreak in 1854, and an excellent job linking that outbreak to ... Read full review

Review: The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World

User Review  - Dana - Goodreads

After I finished reading the book, I gave a silent prayer to thank God that I live in the time and place that I do (early 21st century US). I have read a lot of books lately about sanitation, its ... Read full review

About the author (2006)

Steven Johnson is the author of seven bestsellers, including Where Good Ideas Come From, The Invention of Air, The Ghost Map, and Everything Bad Is Good for You, and is the editor of the anthology The Innovator's Cookbook. He is the founder of a variety of influential websites-most recently, outside.in-and writes for Time, Wired, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He lives in Marin County, California, with his wife and three sons.

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