A Washington Post Best Children’s Book of the Month, More Deadly Than War from New York Times bestselling author Kenneth C. Davis explores the hidden history of the Spanish influenza pandemic during World War I.
2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the worst disease outbreak in modern times: the Spanish flu, a story even more relevant today. This dramatic narrative, told through the stories and voices of the people caught in the deadly maelstrom, explores how this vast, global epidemic was intertwined with the horrors of World War I—and how it could happen again.
Complete with photographs, period documents, modern research, and firsthand reports by medical professionals and survivors, More Deadly Than War provides captivating insight into a catastrophe that transformed America in the early twentieth century.
A Junior Library Guild Selection!
“An important history—and an important reminder that we could very well face such a threat again.”—Deborah Blum, New York Times bestselling author of The Poison Guide: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
“In an age of Ebola and Zika, this vivid account is a cautionary tale that will have you rushing to wash your hands for protection.”—Karen Blumenthal, award-winning author of Jane Against the World: Roe v. Wade and the Fight for Reproductive Rights
Davis (In the Shadow of Liberty) immediately sets the urgent tone of his forthright chronicle, citing staggering statistics: the Spanish Flu pandemic that began in spring 1918 claimed the lives of more than 675,000 Americans in a single year and left a worldwide death toll estimated at 100 million. The author structures his exhaustive account of the origins, transmission, and consequences of the pandemic within the framework of WWI, underscoring the lethal concurrence of these "twin catastrophes." The first recorded flu outbreak in the U.S. occurred at a military training camp in Kansas; infected soldiers then spread the virus on Europe-bound transport ships and delivered it to frontline barracks and trenches. Davis puts a human face on the pandemic, interlacing tales of political, military, and civilian luminaries struck by the flu, and also connects with readers through contemporary analogies, likening German propaganda to "fake news," and a sneeze's emission of fast-flying, virus-carrying droplets to "a video game with space invaders." Davis also assiduously documents modern medical research and puts the pandemic in the context of medical history. Patriotic posters and photos illuminate both the spirit and devastation of the period. Ages 10 14.