AJ's Reviews > Asleep: The Forgotten Epidemic that Remains One of Medicine's Greatest Mysteries

Asleep by Molly Caldwell Crosby
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's review
Oct 01, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: health-medicine, non-fiction, own
Read in April, 2011

I enjoyed this book, but I didn't see it as a biography of an epidemic so much as a biography of early 20th century New York with some case studies of encephalitis lethargica thrown in. In fact, I thought the history and random facts about New York were more interesting than the point of the book!

It's definitely not the best epidemic book I've read (far from it), but since it is one of the only accessible books about encephalitis lethargica I enjoyed learning more. Of course, the source material that the author had to pull from was limited because this disease was really only paid attention to for a limited number of years and then forgotten about.

I would recommend it if you find early 20th century New York history interesting, or if you just have to read about this epidemic. However, outside of those two small niches, I would probably skip it.

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