The Ghost Map: A Street, an Epidemic and the Hidden Power of Urban Networks.

The Ghost Map A Street an Epidemic and the Hidden Power of Urban Networks From the bestselling author of Everything Bad is Good For You Steven Johnson s The Ghost Map vividly recreates Victorian London to show how huge populations live together how cities can kill and how

  • Title: The Ghost Map: A Street, an Epidemic and the Hidden Power of Urban Networks.
  • Author: Steven Johnson
  • ISBN: 9780141029368
  • Page: 326
  • Format: Paperback
  • From the bestselling author of Everything Bad is Good For You, Steven Johnson s The Ghost Map vividly recreates Victorian London to show how huge populations live together, how cities can kill and how they can save us.Steven Johnson is one of today s most exciting writers about popular culture, urban living and new technology In The Ghost Map he tells the story of the tFrom the bestselling author of Everything Bad is Good For You, Steven Johnson s The Ghost Map vividly recreates Victorian London to show how huge populations live together, how cities can kill and how they can save us.Steven Johnson is one of today s most exciting writers about popular culture, urban living and new technology In The Ghost Map he tells the story of the terrifying cholera epidemic that engulfed London in 1854, and the two unlikely heroes anesthetist Doctor John Snow and affable clergyman Reverend Henry Whitehead who defeated the disease through a combination of local knowledge, scientific research and map making.In telling their extraordinary story, Steven Johnson also explores a whole world of ideas and connections, from urban terror to microbes, ecosystems to the Great Stink, cultural phenomena to street life A wonderful book Mail on Sunday A thumping page turner Daily Telegraph Enthralling vivid and gripping New Statesman Exhilarating Spectator It is a rattling scientific mystery, but in the hands of Steven Johnson it becomes something much richer a vast, interconnected picture about urban and bacterial life it is difficult to do justice to the exuberance of Johnson s ideas Scotland on SundaySteven Johnson is the author of the acclaimed books Everything Bad is Good for You, Mind Wide Open, Where Good Ideas Come From, Emergence and Interface Culture His writing appeared in the Guardian, the New Yorker, Nation and Harper s, as well as the op ed pages of The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal He is a Distinguished Writer In Residence at NYU s School Of Journalism, and a Contributing Editor to Wired.

    One thought on “The Ghost Map: A Street, an Epidemic and the Hidden Power of Urban Networks.”

    1. WARNING: Do not read this review if you are squeamish. Or eating.This book is about cholera, and as a result, the author uses an impressive number of words for shit--including excrement, ordure, human waste, and the Victorian euphemism night soil. And shit, of course. Johnson explains that a key question in the development of civilization has always been "What are we going to do with all this shit?" This book dramatically improved my vocabulary regarding topics related to 1850s London. For insta [...]

    2. By turns thought-provoking and irritating, The Ghost Map meanders from its central story -- how an unorthodox physician found the source of a cholera epidemic that swept through London in 1854 -- into a host of other issues. Expecting a more straightforward account of the unraveling of this medical mystery, I set this book aside twice in frustration, bored with the author's tendency to stretch out the narrative, and particularly his repeated examination of the hold the "miasma paradigm" had upon [...]

    3. I read The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World because I wanted to learn more about a story I thought I knew. The story I learned goes like this: during a terrible cholera outbreak in Victorian London, Dr. John Snow made a revolutionary map of the mortality, was like, “Holy crap! The deaths all radiate out from this one pump!” and removed the pump handle, thus halting the epidemic dead in its tracks. Turns out, t [...]

    4. Cholera is a nasty little bug. Once ingested, it forms colonies on the intestinal wall, begins to reproduce with ferocious speed, and proceeds to trick the cells into excreting water rather than absorb it. It doesn't really matter of the host dies soon, because millions of new little cholera bacteria rush out of the host with the excreta waiting for the next person to ingest some excrement. That is the key. The only was to get cholera is by ingesting the excrement of another person so infected. [...]

    5. 3.5 Had seen the PBS special on Snow and his discovery during the cholera epidemic a few months back and this added more detail to that show. Interesting theories abounded, the miasma theory which was a theory almost all favored. How they did so much with so little. Took hard work without all our modern scientific equipment. Snow dedicated his life to the sciences, what he accomplished was nothing short of astonishing. Loved all the extraneous information, how tea helped with the lessening of ce [...]

    6. This started out as an engrossing account of the filth and unhygienic conditions of Victorian London, where people literally piled shit in their basements, later to be removed by "nightsoil men" and a cemetery meant for 3000 bodies ended up containing 80,000 and gravediggers would jump up and down on the bodies in order to make room for more. It sounds insane today that anyone could live in those conditions and what's moreWTF did Victorian London SMELL like?However, after about half the book the [...]

    7. who knew i'd find a nonfiction account of the epidemiological history of cholera more interesting than most YA fantasy??this book was disgusting. it was also SO FUN. well, the first hundred or so pages were the funnest ever (five star level for real). then the next one hundred were like and the last fifty were "uhhh i think i'm just going to skip this i'm here for plagues and infectious disease not self-indulgent waxing romantic on the future of the city as a concept?????"but still.lot of questi [...]

    8. I enjoyed most of the book, but I hated the concluding chapter. I would have preferred it if he had stuck to his subject rather than stringing together a series of personal opinions. The discussion of the relative risks of a nuclear holocaust versus bio-terrorism via a genetically engineered virus seemed forced. Does it really matter? The author somehow managed to work in references to both the Iranian nuclear policy and intelligent design in a book about cholera in the nineteenth century. Was t [...]

    9. When I was complaining about how bad Johnson’s The Invention of Air was I hadn’t realised that I had read and enjoyed his Mind Wide Open Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life. Then David and Eric told me to try this one – and they are right, this is a far better book. The things that annoyed me in The Invention of Air (the asides on paradigms and Hegalian dialectics for instance) are both in part rehearsed here, but in a way that assumes either that the reader has heard of these [...]

    10. This review is so EXACTLY my take on this book I'm just going to link to it. The spine of the book, and the best part of it, is the long detailed explanation of what Snow and Whitehead did to trace (not stop!) the cholera epidemic, ending with that famous pump handle. I loved them -- they're seriously like little scientist versions of Holmes and Watson. The history-of-science parts discussing the evolutionary shift in ideas about contagion are also quite good. But the book falls down badly in so [...]

    11. This starts out so well, with descriptions of the guys who used to scavenge in the sewers of London. It then goes into the nitty gritty of where all those Londoners used to put their shit (basically a lot of them just piled it up in their cellars). I love this kind of thing -- looking at the forgotten underside of a period or place in history.Unfortunately, Johnson runs out of steam pretty fast. He repeats the same points over and over again about how crazy people were for believing that smells [...]

    12. I finally got my copy of this, but I also got an ebook copy & see that it has some maps. They're OK, but I didn't really miss them. He describes things well enough that an audio book is fine. In fact, his descriptions of life at the time are fantastic. The setup is a bit long, but it has to be. It's hard to imagine people living in those conditions (drinking out of open sewers!) with so little understanding of disease. It's incredible how far our common knowledge has come.Well, in some cases [...]

    13. I think I can pretty say that this book by Steven Johnson isn't going to be for everybody. It tells the story of how several men tried to cope with and understand a massive outbreak of cholera in London during 1854. Yeah, riveting, right?Actually, it was. In addition to talking about the disease itself (which basically causes death by diarrhea), the book follows the quest of a London doctor named John Snow as he propels the nascent science of epidemiology into its own. Snow went door to door in [...]

    14. This is a thorough detailing of the 1854 London Broad Street Cholera epidemic. The beginning was a bit too authoritarian and preachy, but the rest of the book was 5 star. The day by day progression of Whitehead, and John Snow in their respective fields working to tract an epidemiology was, to me, enthralling. The miasma theory being so completely embedded within worldview, Victorian science and culture- plus the speed of the bacterium equaled a nearly impossible task in overcoming the London and [...]

    15. In a way, it's amazing it took me this long to get to this book. My husband and one of my best friends had both read and really enjoyed it. It's about cholera in England, and I have that weird sort of interest that comes from having played a roleplaying game in which my teenage vampire slayer and her cohorts in the Royal Magisterial Corps were tracking a vampire who had been possessed by a cholera spirit. Plus, it's history.Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in [...]

    16. London was a cesspool in the 1854raw sewage ran into the Thames or was just thrown into pits in the back yards of tenement buildings. In that year, London had an outbreak of cholera which killed its victims in less than 24 hours. This extremely violent strain captured the attention of a physician, Dr. John Snow and a local curate, Rev. Whitehead were people catching this deadly disease? The common belief in the medical community was that of miasma other words an air borne disease arising from th [...]

    17. This is one of the best nonfiction books I've read in awhile. It's about a cholera epidemic in London in 1854, and the author does a great job of explaining the various factors that helped cause the outbreak, including a population explosion and the lack of a proper sewage system. The book follows Dr. John Snow, who was the first person to identify that cholera was spread by contaminated drinking water. I would recommend this book to history buffs, fans of epidemiology and also Anglophiles, beca [...]

    18. Cholera had been endemic in England for two decades when it hit the Golden Square neighbourhood of Soho, quite literally, like a bomb. The most virulent single outbreak of the disease in the country's history also provided the opportunity to understand the disease and apply preventative measures if only medical science weren't so convinced that disease were a combination of class prejudice and smell.This is the story of one man's struggle to push his theory forward, aided by a degree of local kn [...]

    19. In the The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World, Johnson has written a history with a number of check marks.Accessibility? CheckComplete Story? Check.Argument Well Presented? Check.Present New Insight? Check.Present Significance to Us/Contemporaries. Big Check.Primary Sources? Check. Johnson used committee reports generated in 1850s, various writings of Dr John Snow who realized the water coming from the Broad Street [...]

    20. This was an interesting read, although the author does seem to be spruiking the benefits of cities and the inevitability that they will increase in size, given the modern technologies available to make them safe, foster development and make them more desirable places to be (and not necessarily something I agree with). "If we're going to survive as a planet with more than 6 billion people without destroying the complex balance of our natural ecosystems, the best way to do it is to crowd as many o [...]

    21. Pete and Repeat were sitting on a fence, Pete fell off and who was left? RepeatPete and Repeat were sitting on a fence I was really excited to read this book and it started out just as I imagined - through the dark streets and homes of Londoners falling victim to an invisible and deadly illness. He introduced some interesting descriptive accounts of mid-19th century London, with their "bottle collectors" of the time, but who actually collected and sold animal/human waste, pieces of fabric from c [...]

    22. I wouldn't have picked this one up if not for the Bookish reading challenge (for the "epidemic task"s, we're crazy like that), and for the most part found it fascinating, especially the first half. At its best, this book is a sort of non-fiction history/science mystery thriller, following Doctor John Snow and the Reverend Whitehead as they try to piece together the complex origins behind London's 1854 Cholera outbreak, in which hundreds of people died in the span of a few weeks. The smells andr. [...]

    23. This turned into an interesting look at issues caused by the growth of cities. London, being one of the first big cities, was on the cusp of problems stemming from that growth and the accumulation of so many people in so little space. One of the problems: lack of a way of hygienically disposing of poop. It was everywhere in the days before sewers. The descriptions of Victorian London were appalling: poop in the backyard, in the cellars, in ditches, in cesspools right on the street. Not merely a [...]

    24. This book starts out as a fascinating exploration of poop disposal, or the lack thereof, in mid-19th century London. Forget any romanticism you may have about the Victorian London. It was absolutely disgusting as Steven Johnson makes horrifyingly clear in "Ghost Map". People dumped poop out their windows, stored it in their cellars, flushed it into sewers that ran straight to the Thames. London was a stinky, poopy place.The total free-for-all of sewage disposal led to several devastating outbrea [...]

    25. 1854 London, overcrowded with people, industry, with the lack of a good water supply and sewage disposal. Just the right ingredients for a cholera epidemic. This epidemic (one of the most deadly in London) brought together two unlikely people, a doctor and a minister who worked together to solve the mystery of where the epidemic started. Ultimately it led to the discovery that cholera was spread by contaminated water. In the following years London changed its practice of sewage disposal and wate [...]

    26. On August 28, 1854, working-class Londoner Sarah Lewis emptied a bucket of waste water into the cesspool of her squalid apartment building and triggered the deadliest outbreak of cholera in the city's history. A Victorian city with more than 2 million people packed into a ten-mile circumference. This is the story of two men: Dr. John Snow who pioneered the use of ether as an anesthetic in the United Kingdom, and on a personal note, mentions the first medical use of ether by Dr. William Morton; a [...]

    27. The Ghost Map is, in part, an account of a cholera epidemic that took place in London in 1854. I say in part, because the epidemic is really a springboard for a series of discussions. In a sense, this book is the history of an idea: that a disease could be waterborne.Back in 1854, this idea was startling, and unacceptable to most of the medical and administrative establishment. Johnson does a good job of highlighting the work of two men, John Snow (who did a lot of the thinking that led to the u [...]

    28. Book blurb: In a triumph of multidisciplinary thinking, Johnson illuminates the intertwined histories and interconnectedness of the spread of disease, contagion theory, the rise of cities, and the nature of scientific inquiry, offering both a riveting history and a powerful explanation of how it has shaped the world we live in. At 20.0% An interesting side effect of reading about cholera is that I'm constantly thirsty.At 40.0%: Unlike Jon Snow from GOT, this John Snow knows something!I listened [...]

    29. This was an excellent account of the (successful) efforts of two men, John Snow and Henry Whitehead, to understand the means by which cholera is transmitted, following an 1854 outbreak in London's Soho district. The "ghost map" constructed by Snow, and the identification of the index case by Whitehead, were eventually successful in displacing the prevailing "miasma theory" by establishing linkage beyond reasonable doubt to contamination at a single water pump (the Broad Street pump).Johnson does [...]

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