Bourdain provides the culinary and social background that makes this account really interesting.
A fascinating look at a historical epidemic, told through the unique viewpoint of an author who understands what it means to be a chef--or in Mary's case, a 19th-century cook whose identity and livelihood are so intertwined that when she is diagnosed with typhoid she is still compelled to cook for people. Interesting questions on social class and the ethics of medical testing are also raised. A fine companion peice to books like Stephen Johnson's "Ghost Map."
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