In 1918, a devastating world-wide influenza epidemic hit the United States. Killing over 600,000 Americans and causing the national death rate to jump 30% in a single year, the outbreak obstructed the country's participation in World War I and imposed terrible challenges on communities across the United States. This epidemic provides an ideal lens for understanding the history of infectious disease in the United States. The Flu Epidemic of 1918 examines the impact of the outbreak on health, medicine, government, and individual people's lives, and also explores the puzzle of Americans' decades-long silence about the experience once it was over. In a concise narrative bolstered by primary sources including newspaper articles, eye-witness accounts, and government reports, Sandra Opdycke provides undergraduates with an unforgettable introduction to the 1918 epidemic and its after-effects. Critical Moments in American History is a series of short texts designed to familiarize students with events or issues critical to the American experience. Through the use of narrative and primary documents, these books help instructors deconstruct an important moment in American history with the help of timelines, glossaries, textboxes, and a robust companion website.
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