People often ask me to recommend a good book on water. I wholeheartedly recommend The Blue Death by Dr. Robert Morris. It’s not easy to create a book about water that’s exciting to read, but Dr. Morris is a superb author. The Blue Death; Disease, Disaster and the Water we Drink reads like a CSI-like investigative novel. Dr. Morris captures the lives of real life scientific investigators spanning centuries and shows us a surprisingly exciting narrative on how these scientists discovered the truth.
The Blue Death refers to Cholera, a very deadly water-borne disease that killed (and continues to kill) numerous people and turned them blue when they died. The book starts by showing Dr. John Snow’s hunt through London in the 1800’s to find the real cause of Cholera in a time when people didn’t know anything about germs, microbes or viruses. Hygiene standards were horrendous and people didn’t realize that a drop of water could be hiding a hidden killer. (An interesting point here is that while John Snow was on this hunt for Cholera he protected himself by making his own distilled water.)
The story progresses to show how they discover the truth and then prove it to the scientific community. The story continues into the present day and Dr. Morris reveals his experiences with his research into the 1993 Milwaukee chryptosporidium outbreak and his own experiences into the dangerous modern-day politics of water.
This book is a must read!
Here’s a link to the book on Amazon (click here).