I am amazed that epidemiologists can track a worldwide epidemic back to its origin in one small town in Kansas, but low and behold, that's what they do here. Many seemingly unrelated threads contributed to the spread of the flu. Corruption in Philadelphia resulted in garbage in the streets, and a pro-war (WW I) propaganda parade brought huge crowds together into close contact. Descriptions of stacked corpses in the county morgues are reminiscent of the Black Plague of the 1300's. I have one complaint with this book, and it's a big one: John Barry's weak attempt to use the flu to explain away Woodrow Wilson's mishandling of the World War I peace negotiations. Wilson was a naive puppet of the robberbarrons, and is directly responsible for signing into law the vile "Federal Reserve Act" and Sixteenth Ammendement to the Constitution, which are bankrupting our nation, and allowing parasitic bankers to suck our blood. Whether Wilson had a touch of the flu at the peace negotions is irrelevent. He did as Morgan and Rockefeller commanded, put the screws to Germany, and paved the way for Hitler.Current events context: In the Spring of 2009, seventeen people in the United States died of the H1N1 "Swine flu", and the news coverage was virtually apocalyptic. Meanwhile, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 60 people died of lightning strikes in the United States in 2008. If we had had today's hysterical mass media during this REAL pandemic, I think civilization would have virtually imploded!