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Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them (Hardcover)

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Bless you, Jennifer Wright, for fulfilling my micro-history cravings with plague sociology. The conversational tone makes even the worst symptoms seem manageable (unless you're assumed a witch.) With detailed facts and snarky humor, Get Well Soon makes me grateful to be living with access to antibiotics, yet warily anticipating the future of plagues.

— Rachel


A witty, irreverent tour of history's worst plagues--from the Antonine Plague, to leprosy, to polio--and a celebration of the heroes who fought them

In 1518, in a small town in Alsace, Frau Troffea began dancing and didn't stop. She danced until she was carried away six days later, and soon thirty-four more villagers joined her. Then more. In a month more than 400 people had been stricken by the mysterious dancing plague. In late-seventeenth-century England an eccentric gentleman founded the No Nose Club in his gracious townhome--a social club for those who had lost their noses, and other body parts, to the plague of syphilis for which there was then no cure. And in turn-of-the-century New York, an Irish cook caused two lethal outbreaks of typhoid fever, a case that transformed her into the notorious Typhoid Mary.

Throughout time, humans have been terrified and fascinated by the diseases history and circumstance have dropped on them. Some of their responses to those outbreaks are almost too strange to believe in hindsight. Get Well Soon delivers the gruesome, morbid details of some of the worst plagues we've suffered as a species, as well as stories of the heroic figures who selflessly fought to ease the suffering of their fellow man. With her signature mix of in-depth research and storytelling, and not a little dark humor, Jennifer Wright explores history's most gripping and deadly outbreaks, and ultimately looks at the surprising ways they've shaped history and humanity for almost as long as anyone can remember.

About the Author

Jennifer Wright is the author of It Ended Badly: Thirteen of The Worst Break-Ups In History. She has written for numerous publications, including McSweeney's, The New York Observer, Salon, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Popular Mechanics, Maxim, The New York Post and more. She lives in New York City with her fiancé who is pretty sure she has a cold and not the bubonic plague.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781627797467
ISBN-10: 1627797467
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Publication Date: February 7th, 2017
Pages: 336
Language: English


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