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Sandra Hempel ☆ 4 Read

P features diversions into fascinating facets of medical and social history such as Snow's tending of ueen 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 Grant. Alternative title for this book The Medical Detective John Snow Cholera And The Mystery Of The Broad Street PumpI really enjoyed this book It goes beyond it s title it s not just about Broad Street but also the history of cholera s travels around the world the beginning of anaesthesiology and epidemiology the London drinking water system and orphanages Most surprising person mentioned Elizabeth Gaskell Sandra Hempel manages to show the works of Dr John Snow in a clear manner Snow was a uiet man who despite his many great works could have gone down in history unknown A man of no social status or money his word work isn t recognized and at one time is plagiarized If not for Reverend Whitehead Snow would have been forgotten by history and that would have been regrettable He seemed like a nice manThis book is a good look at the medical system history of 1854 It shows a world before pure water and how precarious life was before safe water Strange facts about John Snow that are of interest only to me he was born on my birthday died on my husband s birthday made a statement before the medical board to try to convince them of the source of cholera on Broad Street on my mother s birthday Note to self when in London have a beer at the John Snow Pub on Broadwick Street nee Broad Street see the pump replica showing close site of original pump visit Brompton Cemetery where John Snow is interred

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The Strange Case of the Broad Street Pump John Snow and the Mystery of Cholera

In 1831 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 sualid 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 po. The interest of humanity were best advanced by the universal practice of humanity Pioneering Figure of Epidemiology and Anesthesia if your doctor has not heard of this manbe waryA lonerA shy reclusive manA vegetarianAn avoid er of alcohol uietObservant Avid believer and follower in helping his fellow human being regardless of class andor situationJohn Snow was all of these and was considered to be the weirdo of the Victorian EraRespected for sure but considered odd by his fellow doctorsSnow was not a genius He was not flamboyant He was not a typical rags to riches story He was not super obsessed with sciencemedicine He was not sly or crafty He was not rude or superficialHe was an articulate observant man who had a great desire to help all living creaturesComing 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 booksjournals 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 other destitute 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 GodNow 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 directindirect 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 many In 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 causesymptoms of death Once finding a potential lead he went door to door asking uestions 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 systemsHe was a man to die in his 40 s infamous for his work in anesthesia epidemiology and ueer persona It wasn t until years later where his work on cholera was to be acknowledgedDespite 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 NoHe 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 disappear For sure there were times when his frustration with bureaucracy came out as his friend Richardson uoted him once saying Nothing so inevitably tends to transform an earnest inuiring 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 office But 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 me on cholera but gave me insight on many other people who have dedicated their lives to helping humanity In other wordslooks like I have biographies to read Detailed and rich this book is a sure pleaser

Summary The Strange Case of the Broad Street Pump John Snow and the Mystery of Cholera

Sition 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 subseuently 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 Pum. In a horrifying slideshow of medical treatments that will make anyone glad to have been born within the last century Sandra Hempel scours the records of Britain s repeated brushes with asiatic cholera in the mid 1800s eventually focusing on the story of humble physician and vegetarian hero John Snow Roundly derided by the miasmatists who embraced popular medical theories of the day Snow discovered and attempted to prove through careful epidemiological mapping and interviews with victims families that cholera was being spread through tainted water supplies Personally I ve always had a soft spot in my heart for popular writing fact or fiction about plagues and epidemics It has all the suspense of a good murder mystery without anything so petty as a motive At times The Strange Case is packed with too many irrelevant facts one gets the sense that Hempel wanted no bit of research she did to go unshared but some of these random asides are fascinating I particularly enjoyed some of the details of Snow s earlier work as a pioneer of anesthesia and the origins of those cascades of medical interventions that still rule obstetrics today And really where else was I to have learned that a fifteenth century colleague of Copernicus at Padua University wrote a 1300 verse epic poem about syphilisAnd so the story is a bit meandering a bit slow to get to the point but eventually a riveting tale of one doctor s uest to prove and publicize his suspicions about disease while hundreds died preventably around him It s a lesson about how fervently we can cling to ideas that are incorrect and unsupported It is finally an overdue homage to a brilliant and dedicated researcher


10 thoughts on “The Strange Case of the Broad Street Pump John Snow and the Mystery of Cholera

  1. says:

    Should you by any chance travel back to the first half of the 19th Century you should kill any doctors you meet on sight T

  2. says:

    The interest of humanity were best advanced by the universal practice of humanity Pioneering Figure of Epidemiology and Anesthesia; if your doctor has not heard of this manbe waryA lonerA shy reclusive manA vegetarianAn avoid er of alcohol uie

  3. says:

    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 fi

  4. says:

    In a horrifying slideshow of medical treatments that will make anyone glad to have been born within the last century Sandra Hempel

  5. says:

    I was bought this book as a gift a decade or so ago and did try reading it back then but didn't get very far with it as I wasn't reading as much back then I'm very glad I dug it back out from my TBR pile howeverThe author tells the

  6. says:

    A riveting true story that reads as easily as good fiction Sandra Hempel tells the story of John Snow and his discovering the route by which cholera is spread Well researched and told via a great plot this is a truly enjoyable and interesting read Set mostly in Victorian England the book also gives historical insight into

  7. says:

    Absolutely brilliant I had heard of the broad street pump episode and the map John Snow used and I was unmoved a fun and dramatic story which does not illustrate the genius of John Snow and even encourages people into misleading te

  8. says:

    The Strange Case of the Broad Street Pump describes the waves of cholera that spread across the world from 1817 t

  9. says:

    Alternative title for this book The Medical Detective John Snow Cholera And The Mystery Of The Broad Street PumpI really enjoyed this book It goes beyond it's title; it's not just about Broad Street but also the history of cholera's travels around the world the beginning of anaesthesiology and epidemiology the London drinking water system and

  10. says:

    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 co

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