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Get Well Soon

History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them

Jennifer Wright

Henry Holt and Co.

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ISBN10: 1627797467
ISBN13: 9781627797467


336 Pages



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Throughout time, humans have been terrified and fascinated by the diseases history and circumstance have dropped on them. Some of their responses to those outbreaks are almost too strange to believe in hindsight. Get Well Soon delivers the gruesome, morbid details of some of the worst plagues we’ve suffered as a species, as well as stories of the heroic figures who selflessly fought to ease the suffering of their fellow man. With her signature mix of in-depth research and storytelling, and not a little dark humor, Jennifer Wright explores history’s most gripping and deadly outbreaks, and ultimately looks at the surprising ways they’ve shaped history and humanity for almost as long as anyone can remember.


Praise for Get Well Soon

"Wright brings a reliably sane and bitingly funny voice to a topic we never realized we wanted to know so much about: historically devastating plagues! Read this . . .so that you can soon amuse your friends with the best dinner party conversation ever."Nylon

"Wright doesn't simply state gross-out facts or hold up solitary individuals as heroes. Instead, she highlights the issues that impacted our understanding of and response to medical nightmares. Leadership, religiosity, power structures, and science collide . . . Written with Wright's signature humorous tone, this is a grim but engaging look at some of humanity's most feared foes."BUST Magazine

"Jennifer has a rare ability to make history funny, titillating, and relevant, in way I’ve not come across before. Her passion and enthusiasm jumps off the page and makes her most recent book Get Well Soon: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them, a most compelling and important read."—Angela Ledgerwood, author of Lit Up

"Jaunty, lively, and filled with references to contemporary cultural history, making this work a well-researched page-turner. Readers will get an intense dose of history, written in a not-hard-to-swallow style."Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt



When I tell people that I am writing a book on plagues, well-meaning acquaintances suggest I add a modern twist. Specifically: “You know, like how we’re all on our cell...

About the author

Jennifer Wright

Jennifer Wright is the author of It Ended Badly: Thirteen of The Worst Break-Ups In History. She has written for numerous publications, including McSweeney’s, The New York Observer, Salon, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Popular Mechanics, Maxim, The New York Post and more. She lives in New York City with her fiancé who is pretty sure she has a cold and not the bubonic plague.

Fabrizio Chiesa

Jennifer Wright

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