Review: Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World, by Laura Spinney

We have been here before, and last time it was far worse.

Somewhere between 50 and 100 million people died during the so-called “Spanish Flu”, for which there was no cure and no vaccine, in the final months of the First World War and its immediate aftermath. Many more people seem to have died in this epidemic than in the war itself.

Laura Spinney has written a gripping account of this tragedy and ends the book with some suggestions on how we might avoid such a horror in the future.

This should be required reading for political leaders around the world, who could have avoided some of what has happened recently if only they had learned these lessons sooner.

This is why history matters.