At Lafayette, we try to find a book selection that will introduce you to conversations either already occurring on campus or that we plan to have in order to orient you into our intellectual community. This summer’s reading focuses on extinction – a theme that will be woven into the 2015-2016 school year through a myriad of presentation, gallery installations and speakers.
The book chosen is Steven Johnson’s The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic- and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World. You may purchase the book from local or online booksellers. During orientation, you will meet in small groups with a faculty leader to discuss the book.
See below for a description of Johnson’s book found on Amazon.com:
A National Bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book, and an Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Year.
It’s the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure-garbage removal, clean water, sewers-necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action-and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time.
In a triumph of multidisciplinary thinking, Johnson illuminates the intertwined histories of the spread of disease, the rise of cities, and the nature of scientific inquiry, offering both a riveting history and a powerful explanation of how it has shaped the world we live in.