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Download The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic—and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic—and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World, by Steven Johnson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (11,112 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Steven Johnson Narrator: Alan Sklar Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A thrilling historical account of the worst cholera outbreak in Victorian London—and a brilliant exploration of how Dr. John Snow’s solution revolutionized the way we think about disease, cities, science, and the modern world.

From the dynamic thinker routinely compared to Malcolm Gladwell, E. O. Wilson, and James Gleick, The Ghost Map is a riveting page-turner with a real-life historical hero that brilliantly illuminates the intertwined histories of the spread of viruses, rise of cities, and the nature of scientific inquiry. These are topics that have long obsessed Steven Johnson, and The Ghost Map is a true triumph of the kind of multidisciplinary thinking for which he’s become famous—a book that, like the work of Jared Diamond, presents both vivid history and a powerful and provocative explanation of what it means for the world we live in.

The Ghost Map takes place in the summer of 1854. A devastating cholera outbreak seizes London just as it is emerging as a modern city: more than two million people packed into a ten-mile circumference, a hub of travel and commerce, teeming with people from all over the world, continually pushing the limits of infrastructure that’s outdated as soon as it’s updated. Dr. John Snow—whose ideas about contagion had been dismissed by the scientific community—is spurred to intense action when the people in his neighborhood begin dying. With enthralling suspense, Johnson chronicles Snow’s day-by-day efforts, as he risks his own life to prove how the epidemic is being spread.

When he creates the map that traces the pattern of outbreak back to its source, Dr. Snow didn’t just solve the most pressing medical riddle of his time. He ultimately established a precedent for the way modern city-dwellers, city planners, physicians, and public officials think about the spread of disease and the development of the modern urban environment.

The Ghost Map is an endlessly compelling and utterly gripping account of that London summer of 1854, from the microbial level to the macro-urban-theory level—including, most important, the human level.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Marvelous.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • The Ghost Map charts the London cholera epidemic of 1854, from which Johnson extracts a saga of human ingenuity and true communal effort.”

    Los Angeles Times Book Review

  • “By turns a medical thriller, detective story, and paean to city life, Johnson’s account of the outbreak and its modern implications is a true page-turner.”

    Washington Post

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Mary | 2/14/2014

    " This drags a bit in the middle, but overall a very fascinating book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Christina Dudley | 2/9/2014

    " Great book, along the lines of THE BLUE DEATH, which Johnson unfortunately doesn't seem to have read. Also a nice fit with THE BIG NECESSITY, since cholera comes from sewage-contaminated water. Not for the weak of stomach or those who like to read while they eat. Ha ha. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lana Wood | 2/1/2014

    " I can't believe how intrigued I was by this book. Especially, the parts where the author breaks down the system of living during this time. Why? I am not a civil engineer. I do not enjoy reading about poo. This book was incredibally well written to intrigue a mostly fiction reader. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Gayla Bassham | 1/31/2014

    " Beautifully written, well-researched, and has something to say. Thought-provoking. Highly recommended. Even better than The Invention of Air by the same author, but I recommend that one, too. "

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