Book ID: CBB736184954

The Pandemic Perhaps: Dramatic Events in a Public Culture of Danger (2015)


Caduff, Carlo (Author)

University of California Press

Publication Date: 2015
Physical Details: 270 pages
Language: English

In 2005, American experts sent out urgent warnings throughout the country: a devastating flu pandemic was fast approaching. Influenza was a serious disease, not a seasonal nuisance; it could kill millions of people. If urgent steps were not taken immediately, the pandemic could shut down the economy and Òtrigger a reaction that will change the world overnight.ÓÊThe Pandemic Perhaps explores how American experts framed a catastrophe that never occurred. The urgent threat that was presented to the public produced a profound sense of insecurity, prompting a systematic effort to prepare the population for the coming plague. But when that plague did not arrive, the race to avert it carried on. Paradoxically, it was the absence of disease that made preparedness a permanent project.The Pandemic Perhaps tells the story of what happened when nothing really happened. Drawing on fieldwork among scientists and public health professionals in New York City, the book is an investigation of how actors and institutions produced a scene of extreme expectation through the circulation of dramatic plague visions. It argues that experts deployed these visions to draw attention to the possibility of a pandemic, frame the disease as a catastrophic event, and make it meaningful to the nation. Today, when we talk about pandemic influenza, we must always say Òperhaps.Ó What, then, does it mean to engage a disease in the modality of the maybe?Ê

Reviewed By

Review Theresa MacPhail (2016) Review of "The Pandemic Perhaps: Dramatic Events in a Public Culture of Danger". Bulletin of the History of Medicine (pp. 747-748). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Honigsbaum, Mark
Martinez Martin, Abel Fernando
Ospina Diaz, Juan Manuel
Herran Falla, Oscar Fernando.
Bristow, Nancy K.
Jahn, Stefanie
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Journal of Global History
Medizin, Gesellschaft, und Geschichte
Social History of Medicine
Isis Bibliography of the History of Science
Oxford University Press
I. B. Tauris
Cambridge University Press
Carocci Editore
HarperCollins Publishers
Public health
Medicine and society
Infectious diseases
Trump, Donald H.
Fauci, Anthony S.
Time Periods
20th century, early
21st century
19th century
20th century
20th century, late
16th century
United States
Bogotá (Colombia)
Democratic Republic of the Congo

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