In 1878, more than 5,000 people died in Memphis of yellow fever — outnumbering the combined death tolls of the Great Chicago Fire, the San Francisco earthquake, and the Johnstown flood. A huge disaster, to be sure, but one that presents challenges for Molly Caldwell Crosby in her attempts to construct a compelling emotional story in The American Plague. The chief problem: Whenever she introduces a character, he or she dies (that’s the nature of writing about epidemics, I suppose). Thankfully, only about a third of her history of yellow fever is set in Memphis; the most gripping parts take place in Cuba after 1898’s Spanish-American War. A group of doctors was sent there to help eradicate the disease, and they eventually discovered that it’s spread by mosquitoes, not through the air or dirty linens. (Not surprisingly, one died outright from yellow fever.) Plague is a sometimes fascinating look at a very narrow period of American medical history.
The American Plague In 1878, more than 5,000 people died in Memphis of yellow fever — outnumbering the combined death tolls of the Great Chicago Fire, the San...The American PlagueNonfictionMolly Caldwell Crosby In 1878, more than 5,000 people died in Memphis of yellow fever — outnumbering the combined death tolls of the Great Chicago Fire, the San...2006-11-03Berkley
Genre: Nonfiction; Author: Molly Caldwell Crosby; Publisher: Berkley
Posted November 3 2006 — 12:00 AM EST
- YouTube stars unite for first all-female 'Girls' Night In' tour
- LeBron James hints at role in 'Space Jam 2'
- Neil Young pulls music from streaming services
- Alec Baldwin auditioned to play Henry Hill in 'Goodfellas'
- Jason Sudeikis to star in really unique Fox comedy project
- Meet Stone Crandall, Chris Hemsworth's well-endowed hunk in 'Vacation'
- Exclusive photos and intel on new characters from season 6 of ‘The Walking Dead'
- Stars go back to work! 'Scandal,' 'Arrow,' 'The Good Wife,' more return to set
- Charlie Hunnam and Excalibur glisten in 'King Arthur' first look photos
- Here are the 2015 games we're looking forward to most
- #50Scoops50Days: Keep up with the latest in fall TV news
- Ashley Madison profiles for TV's most famous adulterers
- Tyra Banks, The Madden Bros., Taylor Schilling & More!