An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 by Jim Murphey

20 Apr

Over the course of the last two weeks, I read the most depressing book EVER.  An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story Of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 by Jim Murphey is about Philadelphia’s yellow fever outbreak in 1793 (in case you couldn’t tell from the insanely long title).  And in case you were wondering, the reason I don’t have a picture this week is because it would probably be a really gross picture.  Anyways, this morbid book is about the death rates, the number of people who left Philadelphia, the number of people who got the fever, different “cures” for the disease, and quite a few other equally depressing things.

This week I was going to do one paragraph on how the author captured my interest, but since the author didn’t capture my interest, I’ll have to change it up a little.  The first sentence didn’t hook me in at all.  I literally had to force myself to get through the book.  The only reason I read this at all was because I wanted to blog about another nonfiction book.  I would never have read this book on my own.  I’ve been trying to read it for two months, and I just didn’t want to sit down and read about people dying.  Fun, right?

In this book, the setting really affected the characters.  Although there were not really any specific characters, the people of Philadelphia were kinda the characters.  If the people weren’t in Phili (short for Philadelphia), they wouldn’t have gotten the disease or died.  The whole book was about what happened in Phili in 1793.  If nobody had been in the setting, nobody would have died. And too many people did die.  This whole thing might have been avoided if there was nobody was in Phili.  Probably not, though.  The disease comes from mosquitoes that hide in old water.  They came over on ships in musty water.  Since ocean voyages could take months back then, most (if not all) water on ships was musty.

Oh, by the way, I didn’t like this book!  I give it an X-.  Worst rating ever.

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