The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic
Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (6/8/2020)
Focused on the primary players in this drama--patients and their families, friends, and community, public health experts, and health care professionals--historian Nancy K. Bristow draws on multiple perspectives to highlight the complex interplay between social identity, cultural norms, memory, and
the epidemic. Bristow has combed a wealth of primary sources, including letters, diaries, oral histories, memoirs, novels, newspapers, magazines, photographs, government documents, and health care literature. She shows that though the pandemic caused massive disruption in the most basic patterns of
American life, influenza did not create long-term social or cultural change, serving instead to reinforce the status quo and the differences and disparities that defined American life. As the crisis waned, the pandemic slipped from the nation's public memory. The helplessness and despair Americans had suffered during the pandemic, Bristow notes, was a story poorly suited to a nation focused on optimism and progress. For countless survivors, though, the trauma never ended,
shadowing the remainder of their lives with memories of loss. This book lets us hear these long-silent voices, reclaiming an important chapter in the American past.
Oxford University Press, USA, 9780190238551, 296pp.
Publication Date: January 1, 2017