Orfalea Center Thematic Research Cluster
Global Futures: Uncertainty, Displacement, Security
Pandemics Past Bibliography
The works below are science journalism texts that address how different bodies of people (such as the general public, governments, NGOs, and scientific communities) came to know about pandemics previous to COVID-19. The lenses through which these works attempt to portray the moments of initial contact with emerging viruses are varied. While many authors point to the continued failure of governing bodies to detect and contain these highly contagious diseases, others also point to the role of social, cultural, and environmental factors that have either exacerbated mishandlings of pandemics or frustrated and complicated attempts to understand emerging viruses. These works are significant not only for how they depict the struggle to (epistemologically, biologically, and politically) “capture” emerging viruses, but also as epistemological and cultural objects themselves. This bibliography is a companion to the Mediations of COVID-19 Bibliography.
Barry, John M. The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History. New York: Penguin Books, 2004.
Branswell, Helen. “What the world learned in eradicating smallpox: Unity mattered.” STAT. May 8, 2020.
Crosby, Molly Caldwell. The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, The Epidemic That Shaped Our History. New York: Berkley Books, 2006.
DeSalle, Rob, ed. Epidemic! The World of Infectious Diseases. New York: The New Press, 1999.
Donaldson, Ross. The Lassa Ward: One Man’s Fight Against One of the World’s Deadliest Diseases. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2009.
Garrett, Laurie. Ebola: Story of an Outbreak. New York and Boston: Hachette Books, 2014.
Garrett, Laurie. Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health. New York: Hyperion, 2011.
Garrett, Laurie. The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1994.
Greenfeld, Karl Taro. China Syndrome: The True Story of the 21st Century’s First Great Epidemic. New York and London: Harper Perennial, 2006.
Johnson, Steven. The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic – and How it Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World. New York: Riverhead Books, 2006.
Kelly, John. The Great Mortality. New York: HarperCollins, 2005.
Khan, Ali S. and William Patrick. The Next Pandemic: On the Front Lines Against Humankind’s Gravest Dangers. New York: PublicAffairs, 2016.
Kinsella, James. Covering the Plague: AIDS and the American Media. New Brunswick and London: Rutgers University Press, 1989.
Kolata, Gina. Flu: The Story Of The Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused It. New York and London: Simon & Schuster, 1999.
Kraut, Alan M.. Silent Travelers: Germs, Genes, and the Immigrant Menace. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.
Leavitt, Judith Walzer. Typhoid Mary: Captive to the Public’s Health. Boston: Beacon Press, 1996.
Levitt, Alexandra M.. Deadly Outbreaks: How Medical Detectives Save Lives Threatened by Killer Pandemics, Exotic Viruses, and Drug-Resistant Parasites. New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2013.
McKenna, Maryn. Beating Back the Devil: On the Front Lines with the Disease Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service. New York and London: Free Press, 2004.
McNeill, William H.. Plagues and Peoples. New York: Anchor Books, 1976.
Morse, Stephen S., ed. Emerging Viruses. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.
Oshinsky, David M.. Polio: An American Story. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
Osterholm, Michael and Mark Olshaker. Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs. New York, Boston, and London: Little Brown Spark, 2017.
Preston, Richard. Crisis in the Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History, and of the Outbreaks to Come. New York: Anchor Books, 2019.
Quammen, David. Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus. New York and London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2014.
Shah, Sonia. Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond. New York: Sarah Crichton Books, 2016.
Shilts, Randy. And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1987.
Yong, Ed. “The Next Plague Is Coming. Is America Ready?” The Atlantic. July 2018.
Yong, Ed. “How A Pandemic Might Play Out Under Trump.” The Atlantic. December 2016.
Zimmerman, Barry and David Zimmerman. Killer Germs: Microbes and Diseases That Threaten Humanity. New York and Chicago: McGraw-Hill, 2003.