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The Ghost Map The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World



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Riverhead Trade
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A National Bestseller, a New York TimesNotable Book, and an Entertainment WeeklyBest Book of the Year It's the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure-garbage removal, clean water, sewers-necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action-and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time. In a triumph of multidisciplinary thinking, Johnson illuminates the intertwined histories of the spread of disease, 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.

Author Biography

Steven Johnson is the bestselling author of Everything Bad Is Good for You, Mind Wide Open, Emergence, and Interface Culture. He is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University's Department of Journalism. He is the founder of several influential websites, including FEED, Plastic, and, currently, He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their three sons. Author website:

Table of Contents

The Ghost Map Preface

Monday, August 28
The Night-Soil Men

Saturday, September 2
Eyes Sunk, Lips Dark Blue

Sunday, September 3
The Investigator

Monday, September 4
That Is To Say, Jo Has Not Yet Died

Tuesday. September 5
All Smell Is Disease

Wednesday, September 6
Building The Case

Friday, September 8
The Pump Handle

The Ghost Map

Broad Street Revisited

Author's Note
Appendix: Notes on Further Reading

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