The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History


Chicago Tribune:
“Monumental… powerfully intelligent… unflinching… Barry’s book is not just a masterful narrative of events of 1918 but also an authoritative and disturbing morality tale of science, politics, and culture… One of the strengths is that it goes well beyond medical facts and figures… a sweeping style that consistently focuses on real human beings… Barry has done a remarkable service in writing The Great Influenza.”

The Charlotte Observer:
“Sometimes the book reads like a detective novel; other times it reads like science fiction… A fascinating and frightening account of sickness, fear, stupidity, scientific exploration, and occasional heroism… If this book were merely about the causes and effects of the 1918 influenza pandemic, it would be an engrossing tale, but the story encompasses much more. Ultimately, Barry brings his narrative into the present with provocative implications.”

Journal of the American Medical Association:
“Here is a writer of distinction with a deep philosophical underpinning… I loved the range of this book, how it gives us so much more than its title… compelling and brilliant.”

The Seattle Times:
“Immensely readable… and as a piece of social history, invaluable. It shows the courage and cowardice of individuals under great pressure; it shows how institutions, captive to the ethics of the time, can rise to the occasion or abjectly fall… It’s a lesson to ponder in our times.”

The New York Review of Books:
“Magisterial… evocative… unusual literary panache… impressively up-to-date understanding… very artfully constructed… His message for our time is clear.”

“An enthralling symphony of a book, whose every page enthralls.”

“Terrifying… The lessons of 1918 couldn’t be more relevant.”

American Society of Microbiology:
“Barry provides enormous insight into the very nature of science… The Great Influenza is a must read for its unnerving relevance to today’s scientific challenges of emerging and reemerging diseases and the society’s tragic confrontations with war and terrorism… alarming similarities to today… gripping.”

The New York Times:
“Gripping… Easily our fullest, richest, most panoramic history of the subject.”