There are books that, within a few pages of starting them, already give you the feeling that you are facing a different text. One who runs away from cold and notarial exposure and aspires to emotionally introduce you into a context.

One who not only seeks to teach, but avoids redundant didactism and wants rather that from there you leave with another vision of things having had a great time along the way. This is the case of The ghost map: The epidemic that changed science, cities and the world, Steven johnson, one of our favorite disseminators. An author who knows everything and knows how to connect everything, like good storytellers.

Bad smell

The first thing that draws attention to Johnson’s book is that in the 19th century, above all, there was a bad smell, and that a whole collection of citizens lived on garbage, and among garbage. No wonder this vibrant breeding ground appeared the epidemic that allowed us to better understand how diseases were transmitted.

The ghost map: The epidemic that changed science, cities and the world (Essay)

Again, Steven Johson writes a superb work, at the level of The Mind Wide, The Good Ideas, or Trash Culture, privileged brains. So not only has it been a source of inspiration for one of our posts, Breathe or catch sunlight: you can only do that to survive (unless you are a bacterium), but we have also noticed the reading of a fragment of the book:

The Ghost Map tells the story of the terrifying cholera epidemic that engulfed London in 1854 and its two unlikely heroes: anesthetist Dr. John Snow and the affable clergyman, the Rev. Henry Whitehead, who defeated the disease through a combination of local knowledge, scientific research and mapping. In telling his extraordinary story, Steven Johnson also explores a whole world of ideas and connections, from urban terror to microbes, ecosystems, and the Great Plague, cultural phenomena, and street life. A powerful explanation of how the world we live in has been shaped.


         Books that inspire us: ‘The Ghost Map: The Epidemic that Changed Science, Cities and the World’ by Steven Johson