Saturday, January 16, 2016

Book seven: Terrible Typhoid Mary: A true story of the deadliest cook in America by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

I wish nonfiction books that schools require students to read handled their subject matter in such an entertaining and engaging way as this book. I knew of Typhoid Mary - are there any folks who don't? - but had heard little of what happened to her specifically. Denied her freedom without due process, imprisoned for years without having being convicted of any wrongdoing, used against her will in scientific experiments. Is it any wonder she was suspicious and distrustful of the established medical community and science in general? The fact that there were others who killed more and were released seems to make it all worse. The one time she attempted to get compensation for her imprisonment, a judge tells her her case has no merit. Oh, really? Her rights were trampled on again and again. Perhaps if those afraid of her had been more compassionate and owned up to their own failings in her case, she would never had had to return to a kitchen. She just didn't know any better. 

I would recommend this book to everyone, particularly those interested in history, ethics, science, and civil liberties. It's a pretty fascinating read, and quick, too.

7 down plus 45 to go.

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