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
125 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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Johnson is a very interesting and far-ranging writer. - Goodreads
Interesting depiction of just how filthy London was. - 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  - Anna - Goodreads

I really liked the scientific angle of this book - tbe waterborne vs airborne theories. But I didn't find the urbanization argument to be very interesting. 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  - Ryan - Goodreads

The most fascinating book on cholera I have ever read...the only book on cholera I have ever read actually. It was a great tale of the outbreak of cholera in London in the mid 19th century, and what scientists and social advocates did to contain it. 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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