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The Ghost Map

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

The Ghost Map, by Steven Johnson, focuses on an outbreak of cholera in central London in 1854. John Snow, a doctor who theorized that cholera was waterborne, used the opportunity to collect data to prove his theory. Meanwhile the neighborhood vicar, Henry Whitehead, wanted to prove him wrong. Johnson argues that the work of these two men ushered in the modern city.

Did cholera change the world?

“The history books tend to orient themselves around nationalist story lines: overthrowing the king, electing the presidents, fighting the battles. But the history book of recent Homo sapiens as a species should begin and end with one narrative line: We became city dwellers.” (Ch 9, page 232)

🎧 Host Aubrey Hicks is joined by Jeff Jenkins and David Sloane from USC Price.

Thank you to our co-producers Aubrey Hicks and Jonathan Schwartz as well as our beloved sound supervisors, The Brothers Hedden. Recorded at the USC Price School.

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