In , An Unknown, Horrifying, And Deadly Disease From Asia Swept Across Continental Europe And North America, Killing Millions And Throwing The Medical Profession Into Confusion A Killer With Little Respect For Class Or Wealth, Cholera Ravaged The Squalid Streets Of Soho And Rocked The Great Centers Of Victorian Power In This Gripping Book, Sandra Hempel Tells The Story Of John Snow, A Reclusive Doctor Without Money Or Social Position, Who Alone And Unrecognized Had The Genius To Look Beyond The Conventional Wisdom Of His Day And Uncover The Truth Behind The Pandemic She Describes How Snow Discovered That Cholera Was Spread Through Drinking Water And How This Subsequently Laid The Foundations For The Modern, Scientific Investigation Of Today S Fatal Plagues A Dramatic Account With A Colorful Cast Of Characters, The Strange Case Of The Broad Street Pump Features Diversions Into Fascinating Facets Of Medical And Social History, Such As Snow S Tending Of Queen Victoria In Childbirth, Dutch Microbiologist Leeuwenhoek S Deliberate Breeding Of Lice In His Socks, Dickensian Children S Farms, And Riotous Nineteenth Century Anesthesia Parties An Afterword Discusses The New Threat Of Infectious Diseases Including Malaria, Yellow Fever, And Cholera With Today S Global Warming Copub Granta I discovered this book while reading On the Map A Mind Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks, where it was referenced because of the map John Snow made of cases of cholera in London in 1854 They were concentrated around a particular public water pump Snow was convinced that cholera was disseminated through dirty water, but most physicians believed it was bad air He was finally vindicated, after having been ignored for a long time, but his fame came after his untimely death The book covers how physicians were educated, the discovery of anesthesia, which Snow was also connected with, and the discovery of germs Sadly or happily , this book leads to threethat look very interesting I ll never get through my to read list at this rate. Should you by any chance travel back to the first half of the 19th Century, you should kill any doctors you meet on sight Trust me, you ll save tens of thousands of lives by so doing. The interest of humanity were best advanced by the universal practice of humanityPioneering Figure of Epidemiology and Anesthesia if your doctor has not heard of this man.be waryA lonerA shy reclusive manA vegetarianAn avoid er of alcohol QuietObservant Avid believer and follower in helping his fellow human being regardless of class and or situation.John Snow was all of these and was considered to be the weirdo of the Victorian Era.Respected for sure but considered odd by his fellow doctors.Snow was not a genius He was not flamboyant He was not a typical rags to riches story He was not super obsessed with science medicine He was not sly or crafty He was not rude or superficial.He was an articulate observant man who had a great desire to help all living creatures.Coming from a humble background he was sent off to be apprenticed as a doctor simply due to his excellence in arithmetic Shy and reserved for the duration of his life he went through life dedicated to his studies and work publishing well over 80 books journals in the scientific field He was a man that although, known for his work in anesthesia and books, was not included in higher scholarly circles due to his humble background Still he persisted in his studies undaunted by this isolation And it was due to this observing nature This need for meticulous thinking that gave him the understanding and even cure for cholera Cholera was known as the Indian Cholera because it came from India and spread like wildfire across continents Nobody knew how it traveled How it was caught Who it affected What was causing it And how to stop it This was a disease that spared no one Moved erratically and disappeared as fast as it appeared Cholera was an endemic that came in multiple bouts only to disappear as if it never existed in the first place If cholera could be symbolically represented by Ars ne Lupin, then it is just to say that Snow would be its Sherlock Holmes Sandra Hempel paints a beautiful landscape of what Britain looked like during the early to mid 1800 and it s not the romance you think of when you hear Victorian Era No The real London was dirty Sewage, defecation from all living creatures, vomit, dirt, mud, and a whole bunch of other things ravaged the streets Smells intermingled and hung over you day and night Living spaces were cramped and disheveled And yet, this standard of living if it can even be called living was valued by its pitiful residents who considered this much better than otherdestitute places This was the average life of a Londoner This was what they lived with day in and day out and no one bothered to change that Not even the parishes who were responsible for the wellbeing of such folk But that was the views of the British at the time The poor deserved it and any offer of consolation should be seen as a gift from God.Now into this grim portrait steps the main cast John Snow, Charles Dickens, Thomas Wakley, Florence Nightingale, Richardson, Edwin Lankester, Joshua Pasons, Henry Whitehead, William Farr, William Budd, Joseph Bazalgette, and many .Some names you may recognize and some you may not but the point is that all these people in some direct indirect way helped stop cholera and helped Britain start a new path One where standards of living conditions would change It was this battle with cholera that helped set the foundations of many branches of the medical field, political field, business field, humanitarian field, and manyIn fact, if it wasn t for the hard work of these people, Britain would look very different then how it is now The world in fact would be much different then what it is today Snow did not approach cholera from a scientific point of view Rather he went cracking at it like a detective Mapping out where cholera struck and the number of casualties along with the cause symptoms of death Once finding a potential lead, he went door to door asking questions, gathering intellect from victims, observers, and his own work Building upon them over and over again until he came to the conclusion, water Snow believed water to be the link to understanding how cholera spread Yet, his findings were ridiculed and largely rejected due his status as a nobody and due to the fact that his research had no scientific data to back his hypothesis An incident that only happened do to his rush to educate the public on a possible cause and cure At the end of the day, scientific politics won over the findings of a nobody Unperturbed, Snow continued to study the disease developing paper after paper on his firm belief that the cause of cholera came from the dire conditions of London s water systems.He was a man to die in his 40 s infamous for his work in anesthesia, epidemiology and queer persona It wasn t until years later where his work on cholera was to be acknowledged.Despite being a group of men who sought for scientific truth, mankind s greed for position and fame lead many to credit themselves over the discovery of how cholera came to be Luckily, there were those who wanted the true person Snow , to be accredited Would Snow have minded that others tried to steal his work No.He once said,You and I may not live to see the day, and my name may be forgotten when it comes, but the time will arrive when great outbreaks of cholera will be things of the past and it is the knowledge of the way in which the disease is propagated which will cause them to disappearFor sure there were times when his frustration with bureaucracy came out as his friend Richardson quoted him once saying,Nothing so inevitably tends to transform an earnest, inquiring, and enthusiastic man into a supercilious, superficial, and cold hearted egotist as translation from the tool of self reliance and independence into the gilded chair of officeBut, all in all, Snow was the type of doctor to just be glad that the suffering of his patient had come of and end regardless of what the cure was or who discovered it He was a man in a respected profession who never let it get the best of him A beautiful trait that is sorely lacking in doctors nowadays I think it is suffice to say that I loved this book Sandra Hempel did a fantastic job with grabbing attention of the reader and her experience with journalism really shows itself in this book She is one of those journalist whom you buy the paper for just to read her column She did this one amazing thing where she never made Snow the focal point Choosing instead to make London the focus point whilst weaving in Snow s life like the binding in a book Doing something that would have made Snow proud of her as she prioritized the lives of others over the life of a simple doctor In doing so, she not only taught meon cholera but gave me insight on many other people who have dedicated their lives to helping humanity In other words.looks like I havebiographies to read Detailed and rich, this book is a sure pleaser Every so often I leave the world of fiction and delve in to other subjects Historical discoveries, usually those that have a direct impact on us particularly appeal to me and this title stood out Now as the cover explains it follows the events that afflicted London and the country during the 19th century due to successive Cholera out breaks and the pioneering work done by one man John Snow no idea if this was the basic of the fictional character or not The book covers the events that surrounded the various out breaks and work that was conducted not just by Mr Snow but by all the various people who became instrumental is finally putting the stop to them Both heroic and infamous these stories play out across an over crowded and disgusting unhygienic London rife with inequality and depreciation As the author Sandra Hempel says it was only a few short years after Charles Dickens had published his seminal critic of the system Oliver Twist that child farming, poor houses and cramped conditions linked to unsanitary practices and poor control over both sewers and water supplies meant that it was a matter of time before something of the nature happened The book not only charts the events from the scientific and medical community but also by the various characters involved from the clergy the politicians It does therefore at times waver away from John Snow but only to highlight the conditions and obstructions that were put in his way and how even in poor health he strove to stop such a devastating affliction.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Strange Case of the Broad Street Pump: John Snow and the Mystery of Cholera book, this is one of the most wanted Sandra Hempel author readers around the world.
- 331 pages
- The Strange Case of the Broad Street Pump: John Snow and the Mystery of Cholera
- Sandra Hempel
- 22 November 2018 Sandra Hempel