A Critical Book Review
The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918
And the Search for the Virus That Caused It
By Gina Kolata
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
19 Union Square West, New York 10003
The eBook version
( ISBN: B000056WKX )
was used for this paper.
Dr. Terry Chapman
Medicine Hat College
Due: Thursday, April 3, 2003 - 8:00 a.m.
Although some estimates run as high as 100 million, at least 40 million people worldwide were killed in the great influenza pandemic of 1918. In spite of the horrific death toll, the flu pandemic of 1918 is often overlooked. Why this is the case, is but one of the many questions that Gina Kolata, a science writer for the New York Times, tries to answer in Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999).
This paper is a critical review of her book, and topics of discussion will be Kolata's background, the central theme of her book, how she supports her claims, her presentation, and her organization. As well, a brief discussion of what the book contributes to the reader's knowledge and understanding of the field will be included.
Gina Bari Kolata (b.1948) is a science journalist who has been writing for The New York Times since 1988. She studied molecular biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and holds a master's degree in mathematics from the University of Maryland. She is married, and has children. During an interview with Diane Rehm of WAMU 88.5 on November 17, 1999, Kolata speaks of how her whole family was fascinated by the 1918 flu pandemic. Kolata brings this personal feel with...