2014 The Ghost Map
The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson is a historical account of the terrifying outbreak of cholera in the summer of 1854 in London and how a pair of interdisciplinary thinkers worked to find a solution to the deadly problem.
By the mid-nineteenth century, London had emerged as one of the first truly modern cities, but it severely lacked necessary sanitation services, including garbage removal, clean water, and sewers, becoming a breeding ground for an outbreak of a rapidly-spreading disease.
As the cholera outbreak spreads, it is up to Dr. John Snow and Reverend Henry Whitehead to use their knowledge of the disease and the city to map the pandemic and its cause, find its widespread implications and, ultimately, discover the intervention that stopped the devastating spread of the disease.
The Ghost Map is a riveting historical illustration of the intertwined histories of cholera, cities, and modern scientific inquiry. Yet the ideas and lessons in The Ghost Map are not simply about the nineteenth-century but also our own contemporary "wicked problems" from urban sprawl to bio-terrorism and much more.