The Ghost Map – The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic – and How It Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World – by Steven Johnson

Johnson, Steven The Ghost Map – The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic – and How It Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World, Riverhead Books, New York, NY Copyright © 2006 by Steven Johnson.

The Ghost Map Amazon

Johnson’s newest work (Where Good Ideas Come From – The Natural History of Innovation – Nov. 2010) motivated me to grab this previous work of his.

This is a fascinating story with plenty of current day application. Again, Johnson is a unique intellectual talent with incredible storytelling ability.

Here are a few gems:

“The buildings get to continue standing. It’s the bodies that fall.”p.227

“The threats are that confront us today, they are solvable, if we acknowledge the underlying problem, if we listen to science and not superstition, if we keep a channel open for dissenting voices that might actually have real answers. P. 256

“They were blinded, instead, by an idea.” P.184

“The history of knowledge conventionally focuses on breakthrough ideas and conceptual leaps. But the blind spots on the map, the dark continents of error and prejudice, carry their own mystery as well. How could so many intelligent people be so grievously wrong for such an extended period of time?”  p.15.

Trust me…the above does NOT do justice to this work….A previous NY Times Notable Book…you’ll truly enjoy it.

Lake Chapala – Beneath the Surface

3 thoughts on “The Ghost Map – The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic – and How It Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World – by Steven Johnson”

  1. I’ve read a few of Johnson’s book and while the subjects are fascinating I felt like they could have been shortened and “tightened” to more the narrative along at a sharper clip. This is the editor in my talking.

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