Black Death at the Golden Gate: The Race to Save America from the Bubonic Plague

Black Death at the Golden Gate: The Race to Save America from the Bubonic Plague

For Chinese immigrant Wong Chut King, surviving in San Francisco meant a life in the shadows. His passing on March 6, 1900, would have been unremarkable if a city health officer hadn?t noticed a swollen black lymph node on his groin?a sign of bubonic plague. Empowered by racist pseudoscience, officials rushed to quarantine Chinatown while doctors examined Wong?s tissue for For Chinese immigrant Wong Chut King, surviving in San Francisco meant a life in the shadows. His passing on March ...

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Title:Black Death at the Golden Gate: The Race to Save America from the Bubonic Plague
Author:David K. Randall
Rating:
Genres:History
ISBN:0393609456
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:304 pages pages

Black Death at the Golden Gate: The Race to Save America from the Bubonic Plague Reviews

  • Kelly
    Apr 29, 2019
    A fascinating, engrossing, and at times downright enraging look at the spread of bubonic plague in San Francisco at the turn of the 20th century. The book follows how two doctors recognized what was going on and how one was let down turn after turn, allowing the disease to spread becau...
  • Ari Odinson
    May 25, 2019
    I received an ARC for this book in return for an honest review. I apologize it took me so long. I just found it hard to read this book. Maybe it was because I wanted more of a science POV. I don?t know what I wanted, but this book simply was not for me. It felt too drawn out in momen...
  • Aimee Dars
    Jul 13, 2019
    Until reading Black Death at the Golden Gate, I didn't realize that San Francisco suffered not just one but two plague outbreaks in the early 1900s. Yet, efforts to eliminate the scourge were hampered by multiple factors. Joseph Kinyoun, the first doctor posted by the Marine Medical Se...
  • Weixiang
    Jun 24, 2019
    The roots of racism towards Chinese immigrants during the late 1800s is very much new to me. I've not read much stories, analysis, historical events of how the white devils treated the Chinese during the time of the Chinese exclusion act, nor during the transcontinental railroad buildi...
  • Nancy Kennedy
    Nov 15, 2019
    In the acknowledgements to his book, David K. Randall tells us the genesis of his idea to write about the bubonic plague in San Francisco at the turn of the twentieth century. "This book," he says, "began with an angry letter written by a homesick man." In Mr. Randall's last book, "The...
  • Fredrick Danysh
    Apr 13, 2019
    A well written history of the plague's appearance in Hawaii and San Francisco as well as the efforts to combat it at the advent of the twentith century. The development of the Public Health Service is chronicled as well as the personalities of the doctors involved. The ethnic and finan...
  • Meg
    Dec 19, 2018
    Remember the Middle Ages with all of its death-by-pandemic? This is a true account of when the Bubonic plague hit the United States at the turn on the last century. For years, one of my favorite books and reading experiences for book club was Steven Johnson?s GHOST MAP. I?ve been ...
  • Kend
    Jul 19, 2019
    Did you know that the plague is here, in the United States, right now? I didn't know that until I was having coffee with a friend's family and her father mentioned the fact that all of the prairie dogs in their part of central Montana had died of plague?and I quote?"again." He then...
  • Pamela
    Mar 31, 2019
    4.5 stars. A historical medical mystery following two doctors who recognized plague when it came to the US and had to fight politicians, business interests, and rampant racism and xenophobia in trying to control the disease. Because of all the pushback the doctors and the Marine Medica...
  • Jane
    Apr 03, 2019
    A devastating disease, an apathetic and greedy local government, and an unlikely hero. Black Death at the Golden Gate is a shocking tale of a plague outbreak in turn of the century California, an event that had previously been buried in America's history. David K. Randall paints a v...
  • Caitlyn
    May 11, 2019
    This is a fascinating history of the efforts of public health officials to prevent the spread of bubonic plague in San Francisco in the early 1900s. Efforts were fraught with prejudice, political maneuvering and corruption, bacteriology as a new science, and the discovery that the plag...
  • Gerry
    Jun 01, 2019
    Randall writes well, and kept his narrative moving along compellingly. Who knew that not only had bubonic plague actually occurred in 20th century America, but that it still exists to this day, especially in the western part of the country? What prevented its eradication was primarily ...
  • Kristina Harper
    May 14, 2019
    This is a fascinating account of bubonic (and pneumonic) plague outbreaks in San Francisco at the start of the 20th century, along with the doctors who fought to control and eradicate the disease, and the politicians and press who initially fought them every step of the way to protect ...
  • Jeanette
    May 05, 2019
    Such a deep subject and over quite a span of time- this was supremely researched. The only star it loses is that it sidetracked to Gold Rush and other historical background context a bit more than was necessary, IMHO. But all told the title is the core of this book. Oh the early ...
  • Raughley Nuzzi
    Jun 16, 2019
    This is a really engaging pop-history of science covering a series of Plague outbreaks in California at the turn of the last century. It was remarkable to see today's headlines reflected in the issues of 1898 San Francisco, from the anti-vaxxers deriding the work of scientists, to an e...
  • Christy
    Jun 22, 2019
    As an RN who minored in history, this book was right up my alley. Prior to picking up the book, I did not know about this struggle to eradicate bubonic plague on the West Coast in (fairly) contemporary times. So, this book read like a mystery. The book details the timeline between pati...
  • Cropredy
    Oct 06, 2019
    Short version: This was really interesting about something that took place 100+ years ago in San Francisco, the metropolis that dominates where I have lived for 30+ years. Anyone who has a connection to SF should read this to learn about something that is little-known but was potential...
  • Scott
    Dec 13, 2019
    4.5 stars "The plague was not only spreading, but Chinese residents . . . appeared to be hiding victim's bodies in hopes that the decomposition process would obscure the true nature of death, turning the survival of [San Francisco] into a cat-and-mouse game." -- pages 58-59 Some...
  • Angus McKeogh
    Aug 06, 2019
    For such a hair-raising topic this was about as boring as it gets. A vast topic that seemed to be done with explication in a couple hundred pages but yet the book went on for a hundred or so more. Loads of less important digressions and uninteresting footnotes along the way. Unfortunat...
  • Queenie
    Apr 13, 2019
    I received an ARC of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway. I was so caught up in the plot and characters that I had to keep checking to see if this was really a history book. The characters are fascinating. Not only are we told what they did, but who they were as husbands, friends...
  • Kate
    Jun 22, 2019
    Excellent read. Nothing has changed in 119 years. Hatred of immigrants. Politics corrupt and criminal. People in charge trying their hardest to destroy anyone who they feel may threaten them and trying to get more power and funding. ...
  • Leigh Anne
    Jun 02, 2019
    Si jeunesse savait, si vieillesse pouvait! Oh America. You were so wild in the early 20th century, what with your complete ignorance of bacteriology and racist pseudo-science. It nearly got you all killed, too, when bubonic plague, of all things, turned up in San Francisco. Complete...
  • clare
    Jul 10, 2019
    "On the eve of the modern era, one of the most feared diseases in human history returned without warning and unleashed death on a scale not seen in centuries." pg. 4 I really enjoyed the narrative style Randall has going on here. The ability to build suspense in nonfiction is somethin...
  • Katherine Younkin
    Jul 29, 2019
    The fight to stop bubonic plague from becoming an epidemic in the United States in the 1900s has been a largely unknown but true story. David Randall?s book reads like a thriller, the plot full of obstructive politicians, courageous scientists and previously unsung people trying to e...
  • Vladimir Putin
    May 09, 2019
    Caough i have plag ...
  • Robin
    Oct 18, 2019
    In the early 20th century, bubonic plague nearly swept across the country. There were two separate outbreaks - the first from 1900 to 1904, and the second in 1907. The epidemic began in Chinatown in San Francisco in 1900. Bacteriologist Dr. Joseph Kinyoun of the Marine Hospital Ser...
  • Amy
    Jul 23, 2019
    I recently finished listening to The Black Death, a lecture series by Dr. Dorsey Armstrong, and this book seemed like the next logical thing to pull out of my to-read list. It was originally recommended to me a bookstore cashier while we were chatting about history books. They'd mentio...
  • Kasia
    Jun 28, 2019
    I have no words to describe how good this book is. Simple in form and analytical in approach it tells the story of the first appearance of bubonic plague in US. There are no unnecessary feelings. David Randall managed to write a book that is free of judgement or personal opinions. Jose...
  • Kyle
    Aug 15, 2019
    A history book that reads nothing like one; I was engaged by Randall's writing. The book's subject, the Plague, is accompanied by additional topics of racism, corrupted politics and media, and negative scientific attitudes which, unfortunately, don't feel as distanced as they should. ...
  • Porter Broyles
    Jan 08, 2020
    I had forgotten I had put a hold on this through my library, so was a little surprised when it popped up in my audio library. First, the narration. I am not a fan of speed reading and felt that I could have slowed this book down to 80% of speed and been fine with it. The guy who nar...