Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Nonfiction Tuesday, 1.29.13 / From the Stacks

"T" for Tuesday! Click to see.
An American Plague: the True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 by Jim Murphy, pub. 2003, call # 614.5 MUR

"1793, Philadelphia. The nation's capital and the largest city in North America is devastated by an apparently incurable disease, cause unknown . . ."
I came across this book in our collection as we showcased items for Math/Science Month at the LMC. While I will admit that I was previously unaware of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793, I found the book to be a fascinating history of how widely and brutally the epidemic affected Philadelphia, the largest U.S. city at the time.
This book is the recipient of the following prestigious awards:
  • The Robert F. Sibert Medal
  • Newbery Honor Book
  • National Book Award Finalist

"In a powerful, dramatic narrative, critically acclaimed author Jim Murphy describes the illness known as yellow fever and the toll it took on the city's residents, relating the epidemic to the major social and political events of the day and to 18th-century medical beliefs and practices. Drawing on first-hand accounts, Murphy spotlights the heroic role of Philadelphia's free blacks in combating the disease, and the Constitutional crisis that President Washington faced when he was forced to leave the city--and all his papers--while escaping the deadly contagion. The search for the fever's causes and cure, not found for more than a century afterward, provides a suspenseful counterpoint to this riveting true story of a city under siege." (Full overview here)

~ Mrs. Z

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