But once the Gold Rush began, the settlement became a very big deal indeed, with few laws, much corruption, and a reckless lifestyle that came from knowing the ground underneath one's feet could disappear at any moment. by Random House Trade Paperbacks, The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco. I feel itchy, and I have never hated rats more. Little did I know what a treat I had discovered! But the greatest factor that prevented thousands of deaths was the difference. I bought this book was about the black death in San Francisco.... and yes the book does talk about it, but it goes into such detail about the men who fought the plague and their lives.. But Chase's captivating account is not only a great read; it also offers a convincing interpretation of the evidence and addresses its implications for contemporary times. The City of San Francisco (we always cap the "C" in City) has always had an air of naughtiness, which is why it was known as the Barbary Coast. Two unlikely MD heroes emerge in this story. The writing is good and the story has a scarily familiar ring to it--politicians deny, deny, deny, and people pretend the plague outbreak isn't happening because it's "bad for business." The beginning of this book is a class in how medicine is flawed, and from the beginning contains elements of racial bias. The public reacts to their sudden imprisonment with intense longing for absent loved ones. Please try again. I figured now was a good time to read a book about historical plagues, and for some reason my public-school California history classes never mentioned that San Francisco had an epidemic of bubonic plague lasting for about ten years, starting in 1900. Chase uses the San Francisco experience of plague to pose questions about the potential for bioterrorism in the wake of September 11, 2001. Chase, medicine and science reporter with the. While the first public health official assigned to stem the epidemic, Joseph Kinyoun, was an innovative scientist, Chase shows how he lacked the strategy and tact necessary for the task-his plan to quarantine Chinatown caused as many problems as it solved. But Chase gives Blue full credit for his ability to genially persuade San Franciscans to institute structural sanitary reforms that prevented access to the human population by infected rats and their lethal vectors and that brought the first epidemic phase of plague to a close by 1905. The book carries the story like a journal scrawled by an observing physician, with thick detail, atmosphere, and technical comprehension of the public health issue at hand. Tarrou dies just as the epidemic is waning, but he battles with all his strength for his life, just as he helped Rieux battle for the lives of others. Plus, it is more than a micro-history of plague at the turn of the century in San Francisco. It was fascinating and interesting. They confront their social responsibility and join the anti-plague efforts. When Blue returned to the city from his new post in Milwaukee to join his public hygiene team, he realized that this time persuasion was insufficient for obtaining the level of intervention and public cooperation needed to prevent catastrophe. They come to recognize the plague as a collective disaster that is everyone's concern. In this book, Chase expands and enriches the narrative, which allows her to bring the local and national politics into more detailed relief, to contextualize the social effects of the disease, and to reveal what it was like to live with a medieval epidemic in the early 20th century. And then libraries shut down. It is best for physicians, researchers, and other healthcare workers to understand the skepticism of their patients, the diffe. ), Or it was way too dry. The state was even totally obstructionist in finding relief for the problem. The gold rush boomtown also found itself paralyzed by a nine-year conflict between public health, business, and political interests, and the civil rights of the Chinese, who were readily targeted as scapegoats. The bubonic plague outbreaks of 1900-1908 are a forgotten footnote in San Franciscan history, lost amidst the drama of the city's early Gold Rush years and the trauma of the great earthquake of 1906. They won not only the recognition of their civil rights but also the support of their otherwise bigoted trading rivals and political masters in accusing public health officials of being false alarmists and of crushing attempts at disease control with denial. I love telling stories never told before! by THE BARBARY PLAGUE: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco Marilyn Chase, Author. Borne by infected fleas that feasted on the blood of the harbor city's large rat population, the plague claimed many victims initially in the Chinatown area, then slowly spread to other parts of the city. Yet, it's also entirely believable. Chase, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, argues in this engaging narrative that social, cultural and psychological issues prevented public health officials from curtailing the outbreak. Does this book contain inappropriate content? This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The Plague is his chronicle of the scene of human suffering that all too many people are willing to forget. Relying on published sources, diaries and letters, Chase shows how the disease first hit Chinatown and explains that most San Franciscans denied the outbreak, while others blamed the city's Chinese population (city officials hid behind worries about tourism and the city's reputation). 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. Well written and interesting. Start by marking “The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco” as Want to Read: Error rating book. Good historical look at how San Francisco reacted to an outbreak of plague in the late 1890's/early 1900's. Little did I know what a treat I had discovered! Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in … Back in March just before the US really shut down, a friend of mine did a display of books on pandemics at her library, and this was one of the ones she chose. I found this book to be quite informative, as author Marilyn Chase utilized her skills as a veteran. I am a huge fan of books about fighting disease, so this was a great book. Sadly, beyond the city itself, the disease had already spread to the wildlife population of the East Bay area. The public quickly returns to its old routine, but Rieux knows that the battle against the plague is never over because the bacillus microbe can lie dormant for years. This shopping feature will continue to load items when the Enter key is pressed. Shows how little has changed when it comes to public health and commercial self interest. He and Dr. Rieux are forced to confront the indifference and denial of the authorities and other doctors in their attempts to urge quick, decisive action.
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