[PDF] The Illustrious Dead: The Terrifying Story of How Typhus Killed Napoleon's Greatest Army

ISBN: 0307394050

Category: Tutorial


Posted on 2018-01-22, by luongquocchinh.

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Author: Stephan Talty | Publisher: Broadway Books; 1 edition | Category: History | Language: English | Page: 336 | ISBN: 0307394050 | ISBN13: 9780307394057 |

Description: When Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812, typhus ravaged his army, killing hundreds of thousands and ensuring his defeat, according to this breathless combination of military and medical history. After summarizing the havoc this disease wreaked on earlier armies and sketching Napoleon's career, the book describes his invasion of Russia with more than 600,000 men. Almost immediately typhus struck. Infected lice excrete the microbe in their feces, and victims acquire the disease by scratching the itchy bite. Talty (Mulatto America) describes the effects in graphic detail: severe headache, high fever, delirium, generalized pain and a spotty rash. Death may take weeks, and fatalities approached 100% among Napoleon's increasingly debilitated, filthy, half-starved soldiers. Talty makes a good case that it was typhus, not General Winter, that crushed Napoleon. Readers should look elsewhere for authoritative histories of Napoleon's wars and of infectious diseases, but Talty delivers a breezy, popular account of a gruesome campaign, emphasizing the equally gruesome epidemic that accompanied it. Review “An eloquent and vivid portrait that includes a view through the telescopes of rear-echelon commanders, the rifle sights of front-line skirmishers, and the clouded spectacles of field surgeons laboring in candlelit abattoirs . . . the finest kind of popular history.” —William Rosen, author of Justinian’s Flea: The First Great Plague and the End of the Roman Empire Praise for Empire of Blue Water “A swashbuckling adventure . . . [the] characters leap to life.” —The New York Times Book Review “Reeking of authentic blood and thunder, and as richly detailed as a work of fiction . . . dramatically evokes the rough and tumble age when pirates owned the seas. A thrilling and fascinating adventure.” —Caroline Alexander, author of The Endurance “Stephan Talty’s vigorous history of seventeenth-century pirates of the Caribbean will sate even fickle Jack Sparrow fans. A pleasure to read from bow to stern.” —Entertainment Weekly “Serves up swashbuckling history at its briny, blood-soaked best, with enough violence and passion to keep the pages flying by.” —Tom Reiss, author of The Orientalist

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