The following information is to promote reading on the life and times of Dr. John Snow. There is no financial link between the non-commercial John Snow Site and the authors or publishers of these books. 

THE DRUMMER WAS THE FIRST TO DIE (1992)

A Victorian novel of John Snow filled with desire, destruction, and redemption as portrayed in fiction by Liza Pennywitt Taylor. The entire book with one gripping chapter after another is available on the John Snow site.

THE BLUE DEATH (2001)

The True Story of a Terrifying Epidemic

This children's book by Judy Allen was published for a short while in England, but is no longer readily available.  It offers an excellent account for young persons of the cholera outbreak in the Soho region of London.  "Blue death" refers to the bluish color of the cholera patient. 

CHOLERA, CHLOROFORM, AND THE SCIENCE OF MEDICINE (2003)

A life of John Snow

A group from Michigan State University has written a scholarly biography and created a website on the life of John Snow, appropriate for those wanting in-depth information on this unique individual in the history of epidemiology and anesthesiology.

Book review in The Lancet

Book review in Health & Place

Book review in New England J Medicine

Book review in J of Medical Biography

The John Snow Archive and Research Companion

Interview with book authors on NPR's Talk of the Nation

OPERATIONS WITHOUT PAIN (2006)

The Practice and Science of Anesthesiology in Victorian Britain.

Stephanie Snow addresses the history of inhalational anesthesiology in Victorian Britain and much more, in her 2006 book.  Prominently included is Dr. John Snow, who's image also appears on the cover. 

Book review in The Lancet

THE GHOST MAP (2006)

The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic -- and how it changed science, cities, and the modern world.

Steven Johnson in his 2006 scientific detective book focuses on the London cholera outbreak of 1854, including the insights and heroics of Dr. John Snow, Reverend Henry Whitehead and the importance of the Broad Street pump.

Book review in The Los Angeles Times

Book review in USA Today

Book review in Wall Street Journal

Book review in The New Yorker

Book review in The Lancet

Book review in New England Journal of Medicine

Book review in Emerging Infectious Diseases

THE STRANGE CASE OF THE BROAD STREET PUMP (2007)

John Snow and the Mystery of Cholera.

Sandra Hempel originally published this book in the United Kingdom with the title The Medical Detective (2006).  Published by the University of California Press, this book tells the story of cholera in England during the nineteenth century, and the role of John Snow in explaining and controlling the terrifying epidemic.

Book review in BMJ

Book review in Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA)

Book review in The Lancet

Book review in New England Journal of Medicine

THE BLUE DEATH (2007)

Disease, Disaster and the Water we Drink

The focus of the book by Robert D. Morris is drinking water and problems that arise with purported fail-safe water systems.  The subject of part I of his book (108 pages) is John Snow, followed in Parts II and III by tales of Robert Koch who clarified the link between the cholera organism and disease, and by other scientists concerned with water safety. 

Book review in The Seattle Times

CATTIVE ACQUE (2007) [BAD WATER]

John Snow e la vera storia del colera a Londria Disease, Disaster and the Water we Drink  [John Snow and the true history of cholera in London]

Tom Jefferson has created an interesting book on John Snow in Italian, including fine copies of Snow's two maps (i.e., Map 1 of the Broad Street Pump outbreak and Map 2 of the Grand Experiment) and past and present images of John Snow's life and times. The work is a translation of John Snow's On The Mode of Communication of Cholera (2nd Ed).  Included are an extensive introduction by Tom Jefferson, contextual figures and items, and historical and epidemiologic annotations to the text.

CHOLERA: THE VICTORIAN PLAGUE (2015)

During the nineteenth century, major cholera outbreaks wrought havoc in England in 1831-3, 1848-9, 1853-4 and 1866. Amanda Thomas tells of these devastating outbreaks, offering both historical overviews and personal stories. Dr. John Snow was involved with cholera during three of the time periods, missing only the 1866 outbreak due to his early death.

Return to John Snow site