Peter Macinnis's Reviews > The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World

The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson
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's review
Feb 13, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: britain, biology, ecology-evolution, history, human-dignity, medicine, science, reference, travel
Read in April, 2009

When I was in London's Soho im 1993, I called in to buy some film and caused a panic when I said I was looking for Broad Street "where the cholera epidemic happened in 1854". The oaf behind the counter went into spasm. "We ain't ever 'ad no bleedin' cholera arahnd 'ere, mate, shuddup, you berk, you'll frighten the tourists" stuff.

In the end I found the John Snow pub in Broadwick Street, chatted with a few anesthetists and one epidemiologist in the upstairs bar (closed in 2006 when I went back for a new t-shirt) (they're no good, now, the publican's a prat). It was real, it was epoch-making.

This is the book to read before you go there, succinct, brilliant, entertaining--as a rival, I HATE Steven Johnson.

Should be a six star category for books like this.

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