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The Great Influenza — The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History

Time Traveller’s Book Club is free for Museum Friends. Join Friends today to take part. Add your comments to the online conversation before 29 June 2020.

By John Barry, Penguin Books, 2004

This sweeping history follows the great influenza pandemic, which is topical given the epidemic the world is experiencing in 2020.

The influenza pandemic that began in 1918 killed seven times more people than World War One, or more people in a year than the plagues of the Middle Ages killed in a century.

This lethal strain exploded across the world with unusual ferocity and speed. Barry's book looks at the first great collision between science and epidemic disease. Even as society approached collapse, a handful of researchers stepped forward, risking their lives to confront this deadly disease.

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