Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco by Marilyn Chase

The veteran Wall Street Journal science reporter Marilyn Chase's fascinating account of an outbreak of bubonic plague in late Victorian San Francisco is a real-life thriller that resonates in today's headlines. The Barbary Plague transports us to the Gold Rush boomtown in 1900, at the end of the city's Gilded Age. With a deep understanding of the effects on public health of politics, race, and geography, Chase shows how one city triumphed over perhaps the most frightening and deadly of all scourges. - SBCL

How politics and science worked against the Chinatown residents who fell victim to Bubonic Plague sets the stage for an exploration of how government doctors later solved the mystery of the plague's outbreak in twentieth-century California. - CDE

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