Book recommendation – Ghost Map

I just noticed via his blog post that Steven Johnson wrote one of the articles in the Time person of the year package. I mention this only because I recently read his current book, The Ghost Map*. The book is great. While the topic sounds gross — the sanitation, demographic and economic conditions that led to a massive outbreak of cholera in London in 1852 — it is also a riveting detective story as it follows the work of some pioneering epidemiologists (before there were such) who solved the mystery of how cholera spreads. It’s not only an interesting book of general history — it’s also a great yarn.

*Note: The book link goes to my “affiliate” store at An upcoming post will explain why I’m noting this.