The Ghost Map
Steven Johnson, author of Everything Bad Is Good For You, has a blog post up about the new book he’s just finishing, The Ghost Map. It’s about the Broad Street cholera outbreak in London in 1854, and it sounds goood.
In many ways, the story of Broad Street is all about the triumph of a certain kind of urbanism in the face of great adversity, the power of dense cities to create solutions to problems that they themselves have brought about. So many of the issues that define the modern world today — the runaway growth of megacities, environmental crises, fears of apocalyptic epidemics, digital mapping, the need for clean water, urban terror, the rise of amateur expertise — are there, in embryo, in the Broad Street outbreak.