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An American Plague

The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793

Murphy, Jim

(Book - 2003)
Average Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
An American Plague
Print
1793, Philadelphia. The nation's capital and the largest city in North America is devastated by an apparently incurable disease, cause unknown . . . In a powerful, dramatic narrative, critically acclaimed author Jim Murphy describes the illness known as yellow fever and the toll it took on the city's residents, relating the epidemic to the major social and political events of the day and to 18th-century medical beliefs and practices. Drawing on first-hand accounts, Murphy spotlights the heroic role of Philadelphia's free blacks in combating the disease, and the Constitutional crisis that President Washington faced when he was forced to leave the city--and all his papers--while escaping the deadly contagion. The search for the fever's causes and cure, not found for more than a century afterward, provides a suspenseful counterpoint to this riveting true story of a city under siege. An American Plague 's numerous awards include a Sibert Medal, a Newbery Honor, and designation as a National Book Award Finalist. Thoroughly researched, generously illustrated with fascinating archival prints, and unflinching in its discussion of medical details, this book offers a glimpse into the conditions of American cities at the time of our nation's birth while drawing timely parallels to modern-day epidemics. Bibliography, map, index.
Publisher: New York : Clarion Books, 2003
ISBN: 0395776082
Branch Call Number: j 614.541 M978a 2003
Characteristics: 165 p. ;,25 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

A fact-filled look at how the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 almost brought down the newly-established United States.

A fact-filled look at how the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 almost brought down the newly-established United States.

In a powerful, dramatic narrative, critically acclaimed author Jim Murphy describes the illness known as yellow fever. Primary sources such as old photos and documents illustrate this story on almost every page.


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There’s an invisible killer roaming the streets of Philadelphia—yellow fever. Its cause is unknown, and there is no cure. How do people deal with it?

I loved this book.
Jim Murphy is a wonderful story-teller.
He brought the details of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 to life.
This might be a "childrens" book but as an adult I found it fascinating.

I can't wait to read more of his books.

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