The Roots of Progress

The Ghost Map

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

Steven Johnson

Steven Johnson’s history of the Broad Street cholera outbreak and John Snow’s pioneering epidemiology work. Clearly, compellingly, and concisely told. I knew that the early sanitation reformers, such as Edwin Chadwick, didn’t necessarily believe in the germ theory and guided their sanitation efforts by sensible qualities such as sight, taste, and smell—I hadn’t realized that Chadwick was a committed miasmatist, so much so that in his crusade to get human waste out of the trenches and cesspools of London, he dumped it into the Thames, fouling that river and actually exacerbating cholera epidemics, the opposite of his stated goal.

Get the book

Amazon (affiliate link), WorldCat

Other books by Steven Johnson

How We Got to Now