The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic
By Gina Kolata
Touchstone Books, Paperback, 9780743203982, 352pp.
Publication Date: January 9, 2001
When we think of plagues, we think of AIDS, Ebola, anthrax spores, and, of course, the Black Death. But in 1918 the Great Flu Epidemic killed an estimated forty million people virtually overnight. If such a plague returned today, taking a comparable percentage of the US population with it, 1.5 million Americans would die.
In Flu, Gina Kolata, an acclaimed reporter for The New York Times, unravels the mystery of this lethal virus with the high drama of a great adventure story. From Alaska to Norway, from the streets of Hong Kong to the corridors of the White House, Kolata tracks the race to recover the live pathogen and probes the fear that has impelled government policy.
A gripping work of science writing, Flu addresses the prospects for a great epidemic's recurrence and considers what can be done to prevent it.
R. Z. Sheppard
A chilling read...packed with new information and astonishments.
Dr. Jerome Groopman
Boston Sunday Globe
Moves at a rapid pace, with vivid prose and graphic scenes...A masterly recounting of medical history.
John R. Alden
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Kolata reports this story with all the fervor of Coleridge's ancient mariner, gripping her readers in the book's first paragraph and not letting go until her tale is told.
Beryl Lieff Benderly
The Washington Post
Kolata commands the intelligent curiosity, well-honed reporting techniques, and smooth prose style of a top science reporter.