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Typhoid Mary: An Urban Historical Hardcover – May 4, 2001
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From the best-selling author of Kitchen Confidential comes this true, thrilling tale of pursuit through the kitchens of New York City at the turn of the century.
By the late nineteenth century, it seemed that New York City had put an end to the outbreaks of typhoid fever that had so frequently decimated the city's population. That is until 1904, when the disease broke out in a household in Oyster Bay, Long Island. Authorities suspected the family cook, Mary Mallon, of being a carrier. But before she could be tested, the woman, soon to be known as Typhoid Mary, had disappeared. Over the course of the next three years, Mary worked at several residences, spreading her pestilence as she went. In 1907, she was traced to a home on Park Avenue, and taken into custody. Institutionalized at Riverside Hospital for three years, she was released only when she promised never to work as a cook again. She promptly disappeared.
For the next five years Mary worked in homes and institutions in and around New York, often under assumed names. In February 1915, a devastating outbreak of typhoid at the Sloane Hospital for Women was traced to her. She was finally apprehended and reinstitutionalized at Riverside Hospital, where she would remain for the rest of her life.
Typhoid Mary is the story of her infamous life. Anthony Bourdain reveals the seedier side of the early 1900s, and writes with his renowned panache about life in the kitchen, uncovering the horrifying conditions that allowed the deadly spread of typhoid over a decade. Typhoid Mary is a true feast for history lovers and Bourdain lovers alike.
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From Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
- Publisher : Bloomsbury USA; 1st edition (May 4, 2001)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 160 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1582341338
- ISBN-13 : 978-1582341330
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.71 x 7.3 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #417,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Marry was a cook and a quite good one at that. She worked in fine homes for the newly wealthy families. She was also Irish, driven from her homeland by hunger in search of a better life. She was a hard worker and to be accused of infecting others was an affront to her pride. She was not sick!
Bourdain explains what it means to be a cook and that some viewed others: customers, employers, the public with suspicion. So it was no small wonder that Mary resented all attempts to protect her and the public. She promised not to cook, but it was all she knew. She continued to cook and people continued to fall ill in her wake. Finally, the health department prevailed and hospitalized her for 23 years.
Was this legal? In 1909, yes, now, I don't know. Typhoid is not a big problem in the U.S. in 2018.