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Pandemics Reading List

Books about pandemics

24 books on this list
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Spillover
Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic
by David Quammen (Sep 09, 2013)
Goodreads Rating
Categories: ScienceNonfiction
“Science writing as detective story at its best.” —Jennifer Ouellette, Scientific AmericanA New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a Scientific American Best Book of the Year, and a Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.Ebola, SARS, Hendra, AIDS, and countless other deadly viruses all have one thing in common: the bugs that transmit...
Recommended by
Jonathan Eisen
And the Band Played On
by Randy Shilts (Nov 27, 2007)
Goodreads Rating
Categories: NonfictionHistory
Upon its first publication twenty years ago, And The Band Played on was quickly recognized as a masterpiece of investigatve reporting. An international bestseller, a nominee for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and made into a critically acclaimed movie, Shilts' expose revealed why AIDS was allowed to spread unchecked during the early 80's w...
Recommended by
Clara Jeffery
The Coming Plague
Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
by Laurie Garrett (Sep 30, 1995)
Goodreads Rating
Unpurified drinking water. Improper use of antibiotics. Local warfare. Massive refugee migration. Changing social and environmental conditions around the world have fostered the spread of new and potentially devastating viruses and diseases—HIV, Lassa, Ebola, and others. Laurie Garrett takes you on a fifty-year journey through the world's battles w...
Mountains Beyond Mountains
by Tracy Kidder (Aug 31, 2004)
Goodreads Rating
This powerful and inspiring book shows how one person can make a difference, as Kidder tells the true story of a gifted man who is in love with the world and has set out to do all he can to cure it. Tracy Kidder is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the author of the bestsellers The Soul of a New Machine, House, Among Schoolchildren, and Home Town....
How to Survive a Plague
The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS
by David France (Nov 29, 2016)
Goodreads Rating
The definitive history of the successful battle to halt the AIDS epidemic from the creator of, and inspired by, the seminal documentary How to Survive a Plague. A riveting, powerful telling of the story of the grassroots movement of activists, many of them in a life-or-death struggle, who seized upon scientific research to help develop the drugs t...
The Hot Zone
The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus
by Richard Preston (Jul 20, 1995)
Goodreads Rating
Categories: NonfictionScience
The bestselling landmark account of the first emergence of the Ebola virus.Now a mini-series drama starring Julianna Margulies, Topher Grace, Liam Cunningham, James D'Arcy, and Noah Emmerich on National Geographic.A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no c...
Recommended by
Jonathan Eisen
Herbal Antivirals
Natural Remedies for Emerging & Resistant Viral Infections
by Stephen Harrod Buhner (Sep 24, 2013)
Goodreads Rating
Current information about antibiotic resistant microbes and the herbs that are effective in fighting them....
Clearing the Plains New Edition
Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Indigenous Life
by James Daschuk (Mar 01, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Categories: NonfictionHistory
This new edition of Clearing the Plains has a foreword by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Elizabeth A. Fenn, and explanations of the book's influence by leading Canadian historians. Called "one of the most important books of the twenty-first century" by the Literary Review of Canada, it was named a "Book of the Year" by The Globe and Mail, Quill & Q...
Epidemic Invasions
Yellow Fever and the Limits of Cuban Independence, 1878-1930
by Mariola Espinosa (Nov 30, 2009)
Goodreads Rating
Categories: HistoryNonfiction
In the early fall of 1897, yellow fever shuttered businesses, paralyzed trade, and caused tens of thousand of people living in the southern United States to abandon their homes and flee for their lives. Originating in Cuba, the deadly plague inspired disease-control measures that not only protected U.S. trade interests but also justified the politi...
A Distant Mirror
The Calamitous 14th Century
by Barbara W. Tuchman (Jul 12, 1987)
Goodreads Rating
Categories: HistoryNonfiction
The 14th century gives us back two contradictory images: a glittering time of crusades and castles, cathedrals and chivalry, and a dark time of ferocity and spiritual agony, a world plunged into a chaos of war, fear and the Plague. Barbara Tuchman anatomizes the century, revealing both the great rhythms of history and the grain and texture of domes...
Fever
by SONIA SHAH (Jun 21, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
In recent years, malaria has emerged as a cause célèbre for voguish philanthropists. Bill Gates, Bono, and Laura Bush are only a few of the personalities who have opened their pocketbooks in hopes of eradicating the scourge. How does a parasitic disease that we've known how to prevent for more than a century still infect three hundred million peopl...
Pale Horse, Pale Rider
by Katherine Anne Porter (Jun 18, 1990)
Goodreads Rating
First published in 1939, these three short novels secured the author’s reputation as a master of short fiction.From the gothic Old South to revolutionary Mexico, few writers have evoked such a multitude of worlds, both exterior and interior, as powerfully as Katherine Anne Porter. This collection gathers together the best of her Pulitzer Prize-winn...
On Immunity
An Inoculation
by Eula Biss (Sep 15, 2015)
Goodreads Rating
Categories: NonfictionScience
The hugely acclaimed New York Times Best Seller, now available in paperback!*A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist*ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2014:The New York Times Book Review (Top 10), Entertainment Weekly (Top 10), New York Magazine, Chicago Tribune (Top 10), Publishers Weekly (Top 10), Time Out New York (Top 10), Los Angeles Times, Kirku...
The Making of a Tropical Disease
A Short History of Malaria (Johns Hopkins Biographies of Disease)
by Randall M. Packard (Oct 16, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Malaria sickens hundreds of millions of people—and kills one to three million—each year. Despite massive efforts to eradicate the disease, it remains a major public health problem in poorer tropical regions. But malaria has not always been concentrated in tropical areas. How did other regions control malaria and why does the disease still flourish ...
Flu
The Story Of The Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused It
by Gina Kolata (Jan 09, 2001)
Goodreads Rating
In 1918 the Great Flu Epidemic killed an estimated 40 million people virtually overnight. If such a plague returned today, taking a comparable percentage of the U.S. population with it, 1.5 million Americans would die.The fascinating, true story of the world's deadliest disease.In 1918, the Great Flu Epidemic felled the young and healthy virtually ...
Recommended by
Jonathan Eisen
Viruses
A Very Short Introduction
by Dorothy H. Crawford (Aug 31, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
In recent years, the world has witnessed dramatic outbreaks of such dangerous viruses such as HIV, Hanta, swine flu, SARS, and Lassa fever. In this Very Short Introduction, eminent biologist and popular science writer Dorothy Crawford offers a fascinating portrait of these infinitesimally small but often highly dangerous creatures. Crawford first r...
The Ghost Map
The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World
by Steven Johnson (Oct 02, 2007)
Goodreads Rating
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, ...
The American Plague
The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, The Epidemic That Shaped Our History
by Molly Caldwell Crosby (Sep 03, 2007)
Goodreads Rating
In this account, a journalist traces the course of yellow fever, stopping in 1878 Memphis to "vividly [evoke] the Faulkner-meets-'Dawn of the Dead' horrors,"*-and moving on to today's strain of the killer virus.Over the course of history, yellow fever has paralyzed governments, halted commerce, quarantined cities, moved the U.S. capital, and altere...
The Pandemic Century
One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria, and Hubris
by Mark Honigsbaum (Apr 09, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Ever since the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic, scientists have dreamed of preventing catastrophic outbreaks of infectious disease. Yet despite a century of medical progress, viral and bacterial disasters continue to take us by surprise, inciting panic and dominating news cycles. From the Spanish flu to the 1924 outbreak of pneumonic plague in Los ...
The Great Mortality
An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time
by John Kelly (Jan 31, 2006)
Goodreads Rating
La moria grandissima began its terrible journey across the European and Asian continents in 1347, leaving unimaginable devastation in its wake. Five years later, twenty-five million people were dead, felled by the scourge that would come to be called the Black Death. The Great Mortality is the extraordinary epic account of the worst natural disaste...
Faith Reason and the Plague
by Carlo Cipolla (Mar 08, 2013)
Goodreads Rating
Categories: HistoryNonfiction
By the late fall of 1630, the Black Plague had descended upon northern Italy. The prentice Magistry of Public Health, centered in Florence, took steps to contain and combat the scourge. In this essay, Carlo Cipolla recreates the daily struggle of plague-stricken Monte Lupo, a rustic Tuscan village, revealing in the vivid terms of actual events and ...
Pox Americana
The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82
by Elizabeth A. Fenn (Oct 01, 2002)
Goodreads Rating
Categories: HistoryNonfiction
The astonishing, hitherto unknown truths about a disease that transformed the United States at its birthA horrifying epidemic of smallpox was sweeping across the Americas when the American Revolution began, and yet we know almost nothing about it. Elizabeth A. Fenn is the first historian to reveal how deeply variola affected the outcome of the war ...
Nemesis
by Philip Roth (Oct 04, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Set in a Newark neighborhood during a terrifying polio outbreak, Nemesis is a wrenching examination of the forces of circumstance on our lives. Bucky Cantor is a vigorous, dutiful twenty-three-year-old playground director during the summer of 1944. A javelin thrower and weightlifter, he is disappointed with himself because his weak eyes have exclud...
American Pandemic
The Lost Worlds Of The 1918 Influenza Epidemic
by Nancy Bristow (Dec 31, 2016)
Goodreads Rating
Categories: HistoryNonfiction
Between the years 1918 and1920, influenza raged around the globe in the worst pandemic in recorded history, killing at least fifty million people, more than half a million of them Americans. Yet despite the devastation, this catastrophic event seems but a forgotten moment in our nation's past.American Pandemic offers a much-needed corrective to the...