Pale Rider

Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World

History , World History
Paperback Published on: 07/06/2018
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Bookseller Reviews

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Pale Rider
Fascinating and terrifying
This is an incredibly interesting and engaging book that tracks the course of one of the worst Pandemics in history, known as The Spanish Flu or The Spanis... READ MORE
Grace At Birmingham


'Both a saga of tragedies and a detective story... Pale Rider is not just an excavation but a reimagining of the past' - The Guardian

With a death toll of between 50 and 100 million people and a global reach, the Spanish flu of 1918-1920 was the greatest human disaster, not only of the twentieth century, but possibly in all of recorded history. And yet, in our popular conception it exists largely as a footnote to World War I.

In Pale Rider, Laura Spinney recounts the story of an overlooked pandemic, tracing it from Alaska to Brazil, from Persia to Spain, and from South Africa to Odessa. She shows how the pandemic was shaped by the interaction of a virus and the humans it encountered; and how this devastating natural experiment put both the ingenuity and the vulnerability of humans to the test.

Laura Spinney demonstrates that the Spanish flu was as significant - if not more so - as two world wars in shaping the modern world; in disrupting, and often permanently altering, global politics, race relations, family structures, and thinking across medicine, religion and the arts.

  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • ISBN: 9781784702403
  • Number of pages: 352
  • Weight: 303g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 25 mm

Customer Reviews

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Pale Rider
A book which couldn't get more timely, this is fascinating reading as we're all in Covid-19 lockdown. Reactions may vary, but personally I find it reassuri... READ MORE
Roman Clodia
Pale Rider
A timely read
A global phenomenon is the world-world pandemic that has loosely become known as Spanish Flu 1918. That is was written prior to the COVID-19 crisis which t... READ MORE
Pale Rider
Laura Spinney is a real Scheherazade.
Even if I hadn't been primed for this book by the you-know-what in 2020, this would be a brilliant book. So interesting and well-written, full of meaningfu... READ MORE
V Vukmanovic
Pale Rider
A great read
This is a well-written and fascinating book about the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918-1919. It is particularly appropriate for this current situation and is ... READ MORE
Myra Cross
Pale Rider
Pale Rider
An in depth interesting read
Sue Patterson