The Spanish Flu Epidemic and its Influence on History

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 176 pages
Author: J. Breitnauer
Year: 2020
ISBN: 9781526766427
Other: b&w photos, bibliog, index
Publisher: Pen & Sword

Where did Spanish Flu come from, and what can the possible sites of origin tell us today? What was the relationship of the pandemic with war?

We meet people who lived - and died - in the pandemic, and step into their shoes. We look at how Spanish Flu changed the focus of scientific throught from eugenics to the creation of public health. And we see how the pandemic unfolded in each continent.

In Budapest, a lone woman dies quietly on a bench in the late afternoon sun, while in South Africa, a group of men plunge to their death in the blackness of a mine shaft elevator. In London, a loving father takes his daughter's life while in Austria a man grieves for his unborn baby trapped inside his dead wife's body. In Western Samoa, entire villages are wiped out in a matter of days and in India, the river Ganges becomes clogged with bloated corpses and the pungent smell of disease ...

This is not some post-apocalyptic future, but the reality of Spanish Flu, which claimed the lives of around 100 million people globally between 1918 and 1920. Often overshadowed by the tragedy of the Great War, this book walks us through the lives of some of the victims, discusses the science behind the disease, and asks, what will the next pandemic look like?

Author's preface
Prologue: the month before the war

Part 1 The Second Monday in March: Origin Theories and the Trail Left by Disease
1. Circling Patient Zero
2. Three Waves of Death

Part 2 Europe, America and the Alliances of War: The Effect of the Pandemic on the Countries in Conflict
3. 'In Flew Enza': How the European Allies were affected by flu
4. The Naples Soldier: Flu and class divisions in the neutral territories
5. School's Out in Vienna: The pandemic behind enemy lines
6. The Edge of War: How flu unfolded in the Americas

Part 3 Movement, Trade and the Victims of Colonisation: Exposure to the Virus Beyond Europe
7.  Under the Desert Sun: Influenza in Africa and the Middle East
8. The Strange One: The epidemic in colonial India
9. Closed for Business: Influenza in the South Pacific
10. Closing the Loop: Outbreak and immunity in South East Asia

Part 4 Secrets in the Snow: What have we learnt in 100 years?
11. Peace In the Time of Influenza: The impact of the pandemic on the peace process and medicine from 1919
Epilogue Northern Exposure: What the bodies in the snow tell us about the next pandemic

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The Spanish Flu Epidemic and its Influence on History


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