The Ghost Map: Book summary and reviews of The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson

The Ghost Map

The Story of London's Deadliest Epidemic - and How It Changed the Way We Think about Disease, Cities, Science, and the Modern World

by Steven Johnson

The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson X
The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson

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Book Summary

Summer 1854. A devastating cholera outbreak seizes London just as it is emerging as a modern city: more than 2 million people packed into a ten-mile circumference, a hub of travel and commerce, teeming with people from all over the world, continually pushing the limits of infrastructure that's outdated as soon as it's updated.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Starred Review: "This makes for an illuminating and satisfying read." - PW.
"Lively and educative" - Kirkus.

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Reader Reviews

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Lynn

Science that reads like a thriller
I really surprised myself by finding this book to be so readable. I tried to imagine the fear of the times to contract a disease that you were fully aware would kill you within a day of coming down with the symptoms. It was so easy for the incurious experts to determine the cause of the disease would also put all the blame on the poor and their environment. Once the curious of scientific and care-taking minds got involved, the obvious answer was found with an easy solution to save thousands. It still took another devastating outbreak and decades before people got behind the correct cause and solution. I enjoyed reading about the people involved and felt that the book kept my interest up from beginning to . . . almost end. I did not find the last chapter to be as well written as the rest of the book.

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Author Information

Steven Johnson Author Biography

Steven Johnson is the bestselling author of ten books, including How We Got to Now, Where Good Ideas Come From, The Invention of Air, The Ghost Map, and Everything Bad Is Good for You. The founder of a variety of influential websites, he is the host and co-creator of the PBS and BBC series How We Got to Now. Johnson lives in Marin County, California, and Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and three sons.

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