Academic journal article Language Arts

Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America

Academic journal article Language Arts

Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America

Article excerpt

Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America Written by Susan Campbell Bartoletti Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015, 229 pp., ISBN 978-0-544-31367-5

Today's headlines warn of pandemics, vilifying both known and possible carriers of disease and forcing them into quarantine. The same headlines might have been those of 1906 when typhoid fever frightened the world with its spread and severity. Susan Campbell Bartoletti follows Mary Mallon (Typhoid Mary) through painful isolation and persecution created by her supposed identity as a carrier of typhoid. Dr. George A. Soper, a sanitary engineer with the United States Army Sanitary Corps, and Dr. Josephine Baker, an inspector for the New York City Health Department, were relentless in their dogged pursuit and accusations. As Mary moved from home to home and institution to institution, she unwittingly spread the typhoid germ through her work as a domestic and a cook. …

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