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7 - The Irrelevance of the Pandemic

from Part II - Knowledge

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 November 2020

Miguel Poiares Maduro
Affiliation:
European University Institute, Florence
Paul W. Kahn
Affiliation:
Yale University, Connecticut
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Summary

Somewhere between 17 and 22 million soldiers and civilians perished in the Great War between 1914 and 1918. At least 20 million people, and perhaps as many as 50 million, died in the great influenza of 1918–1919. But somehow the deadliest twentieth-century pandemic has seemed uninteresting, as if it was acceptably forgotten, or as if there were little to say about it.

Tens of thousands of books about the Great War have been written in English, but fewer than fifty about the great influenza of 1918–1919. Appropriately, one of the best of those few books is entitled America’s Forgotten Pandemic. About the experience of most of the world beyond America and Europe in the most renowned global plague before our own moment, even less was retained.

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Chapter
Information
Democracy in Times of Pandemic
Different Futures Imagined
, pp. 104 - 114
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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