The Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919

The Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919

Perspectives from the Iberian Peninsula and the Americas

Edited by María-Isabel Porras-Gallo, Ryan A. Davis


University of Rochester Press



Sheds new light on what the WHO described as "the single most devastating infectious disease outbreak ever recorded," focusing on social control, gender, class, religion, national identity, and military medicine's reactions to the pandemic.
Situating the Iberian Peninsula as the key point of connection between Europe and the Americas, both epidemiologically and discursively, The Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919 sheds new light on what the World Health Organization described as "the single most devastating infectious disease outbreak ever recorded." The essays in this volume elucidate specific aspects of the pandemic that have received minimal attention until now, including social control, gender, class, religion, national identity, and military medicine's reactions to the pandemic and relationship with civilian medicine. While World War I, as the authors point out, is the context for these discussions, the experiences of 1918-19 remain persistently relevant to contemporary life, particularly in view of events such as the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic and the Ebola outbreak of 2014.

Contributors: Catherine Belling, Josep Bernabeu-Mestre, Liane Maria Bertucci, Ryan A. Davis, Esteban Domingo, Magda Fahrni, Hernán Feldman, Pilar León-Sanz, Maria Luísa Lima, Maria de Fátima Nunes, Mercedes Pascual Artiaga, María-Isabel Porras-Gallo, Anny Jackeline Torres Silveira, José Manuel Sobral, Paulo Silveira e Sousa, Christiane Maria Cruz de Souza.

María-Isabel Porras-Gallo is professor of history of science in the Medical Faculty of Ciudad Real at the University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain).
Ryan A. Davis is assistant professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Illinois State University.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781580468640), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


November 2014
13 black and white, 6 line illustrations
290 pages
9x6 in
Rochester Studies in Medical History
ISBN: 9781580464963
Format: Hardback
University of Rochester Press
BISAC MED039000, MED022090, HIS024000
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Emerging Perspectives of the Spanish Influenza Pandemic 1918-19
The Great Evolutionary Potential of Viruses: The 1918 Flu as a Paradigm of Disease Emergence
Spanish Flu in Brazil: Searching for Causes during the Epidemic Horror
Ricardo Jorge and the Construction of a Medico-Sanitary Public Discourse: Portugal and International Scientific Networks
And to Make Things Worse, the Flu: The Spanish Influenza in a Revolutionary Portugal
Between the Pandemic and World War I: The 1918-19 Influenza Pandemic in the Spanish Army, through the Eyes of the Press
The Reign of the Spanish Flu: Impact and Responses to the 1918 Influenza Pandemic in Minas Gerais, Brazil
The Spanish Flu in Bahia, Brazil: Prophylaxis and Healing Practices
A Collaborative Experience: The Mutual Benefit Societies' Responses to the 1918-19 Influenza Pandemic in Pamplona, Spain
A Tale of Two Spains: Narrating the Nation during the 1918-19 Influenza Epidemic
The Spanish Flu in Argentina: An Alarming Hostage
Epidemic Disease, Local Government, and Social Control: The Example of the City of Alicante, Spain
The Gendered Dimensions of Epidemic Disease: Influenza in Montreal, Canada, 1918-20
Remembering and Reconstructing: Fictions of the 1918-19 Influenza Pandemic
Selected Bibliography
List of Contributors


Using numerous primary sources, the writers have produced firsthand accounts of the outbreak in regions of the West largely neglected in other histories. In addition to providing descriptions of the virus and mechanisms of its variation, the writers emphasize social and political conditions that played significant roles in the outbreak. Highly recommended. CHOICE

The Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919 examines the developments of a landmark epidemic in places -- such as provincial Spain -- that have received insufficient attention from researchers. An original and valuable study that contributes to medical historiography and to the contemporary study of medicine. --Marcos Cueto, Casa de Oswaldo Cruz, FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janeiro

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