Monday, March 19, 2018

Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes who Fought Them by Jennifer Ashley Wright

Take a tour of history's worst plagues and learn about the heroes who battled them. This most deadly journey of illness begins in ancient Rome with the Antonine Plague and travels through time to the Dancing Plage, the horrific Black Death, leprosy, and into more modern times with the Spanish Flu and polio. In addition to learning about these interesting and deadly periods of time, Wright also brings to light those souls that did their best to fight and irradicate these horrible epidemics.

Get Well Soon is an interesting look at history through epidemics. Wright tackles these tragedies with wit and humanity. What makes this book so engrossing are the human elements brought to each deadly disease. Wright is able to take this dark topic and make it quite enjoyable with stories of interesting people and even injects some needed humor. What really made me love this book is the overall theme of treating those who are sick with dignity and respect and to not repeat the ills of the past. It may not be a light-hearted narrative, but a needed one.

You can find Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them by Jennifer Wright on the VBPL Catalog. If you Get Well Soon, you may want to try Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared M. Diamond or The Great Influenza by John M. Barry.

In addition to these titles, I highly recommend The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague by Dorsey Armstrong from The Great Courses, which tackles the Black Death from disease to economic ramifications to religion to literature.

Review by Michelle L. Chrzanowski, NASA's Scientific and Technical Information Program

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