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Emblems of Conduct (Brown Thrasher Books) Paperback – June 1, 1996
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<p>A moving and rewarding piece of creative writing . . . Here is a childhood written with such integrity and a feeling of fidelity to time and place that not merely southerners will feel a sense of recognition but all others as well.</p> (Ralph McGill <i>New York Times Book Review</i>)
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Top Customer Reviews
Chase shows the official conspiracy--including the city's press--that not only kept information from the public but actively lied to San Franciscans. Ultimately, she shows that the battle to rid San Francisco of plague was won by persistence, diplomacy and sharing the nitty-gritty facts with the public.
Those who think the plague is a disease of the past, or at least of the Third World, might be interested to read the epilogue. It shows that plague is carried by rodents of the American West, and contains an account of a plague case in New Mexico in 2000.
The thousands of citizens of Chinatown were worried that discovery of the plague in their midst would only increase the considerable discrimination against them. They were right; the city quarantined Chinatown, eventually with barbed wire, arbitrarily zigzagged to exclude white stores and churches. Joseph Kinyoun, the federal medical officer for the city, tried to impose the quarantine and force vaccines, but Chinese community groups were able to have them struck down as racially discriminatory. Kinyoun was opposed by civic leaders fearing an economic impact if the plague became well known, and was eventually run out of town. His successor, Rupert Blue, had a little more effect, with some control of the plague before 1906, but then came the earthquake.Read more ›
This book has it all -- poitical intrigue, racism, a disease out of control, heroes and villains. Sometimes non-fiction can be better than most novels, and in this case, it makes for a great book well worth reading.
Most cities had problems with rats. If they thought SF was bad, I hate to think what Chicago was like with that city being the major one for slaughterhouses throughout the U.S., and of course, NY with all the shipping from around the world. What made SF unique is that it was relatively smaller to both NY and Chicago, and considered a clean city. I guess even after 60 years, the area was still embarrassed by their run-in with the plague and that's why we didn't get that information in school.
I love medical history, and we have several very good authors out there, with the late Roy Porter and Laurie Garret being a couple of favorites. Chase's book was alright, but did not have the writing ability of the above authors, and the book seemed dry, and very repititious at times. She obviously did her research, to the point of having the names of so many of the Chinese who died in the first wave of plague. The book just lack the feeling of urgency conveyed by other authors when dealing with epidemics.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In The Barbary Plague science writer Marilyn Chase demonstrates how a skilled journalist can enliven history and deliver a page-turning work. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Michael J Helquist
Absolutely fascinating read and an unusual insight to governmental cover ups. I highly recommend.Published 7 months ago by S. Waterman
This book reports on a part of history that might interest a very small group of San Francisco buffs. Ms. Read morePublished 7 months ago by georgia anderson
I loved the historical details of these events chronicled in a very interesting story! The struggles, challenges, and relentless efforts of these medical ground-breakers should be... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Margaret Jacobson
I think this is the best-researched and best-written book I've ever read. I only wish she had written 50 more. DarlenePublished 14 months ago by Darlene Thorne
A part of sf history that is not well known. Delves deeply into the heroic and the shameful areas of health care politics at the turn of the 20th century.Published 14 months ago by thomas j. o'donnel
I am a huge fan of books about fighting disease, so this was a great book. Plus, it is more than a micro-history of plague at the turn of the century in San Francisco. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Carrie
Really enjoyed the book. Good chapter and overall length. Physical size easy to handle. Font good. Compelling. Great research. Very interesting.Published 20 months ago by William S. Maley