It is 1793, and there’s an invisible killer roaming the streets of Philadelphia. The city’s residents are fleeing in fear. This killer has a name—yellow fever—but everything else about it is a mystery. Its cause is unknown, and there is no cure. LitWits next book, An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793, is a powerful and dramatic account of this epidemic by award-winning author Jim Murphy. He traces the devastating course of the epidemic. The medical beliefs and practices of the time and the conditions that helped the disease to spread through the city that was then the nation’s capital are vividly detailed. So, too, is the heroic role that free black Philadelphians played in saving their city. The efforts and intrigues of politicians and doctors—among them George Washington and Benjamin Rush—are also part of the narrative, and the search for the fever’s causes and cure provides a suspenseful counterpoint to this riveting true story of a city under siege.
Our book club, LitWits, is reading An American Plague and will meet Sunday, April 27, to discuss it. The club will gather at Samantha Park’s home and enjoy some fabulous refreshments along with fabulous conversation. We meet at 6:30 pm. Anyone who has read the book is welcome.