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Pandemic: Rendering a Hue and Cry

Pandemic: Rendering a Hue and Cry

Update: 2020-10-26


This episode is dedicated to Franco Bolelli.

Since it's the year of our lord 2020, it was only inevitable that we'd talk about pandemics on History Impossible.

What follows is an exploration of not just a pandemic and not just the most physically destructive pandemic in all of human history. What follows is an exploration of what a pandemic actually does. And by "does," we're talking about what it does to the human body, the human mind, and the wider social psychology of societies themselves, and of course, the historical consequences that result.

The 1918 H1N1 Influenza A pandemic--better known as the "Spanish flu"--is known as a lot of things. A bizarre historical footnote that no one wanted to discuss. A force of nature more destructive than the Great War itself, rivaled only by the Second World War. And according to a small handful of medical historians, sociologists, and economists, quite possibly the reason for how things in that so-called "War to End All Wars" turned out and thus, everything that happened afterward.

These are all things that will be covered and more, as the impossible case is laid that the Spanish flu was not just the secret fuel that powered the monumental tragedies of the 20th century, but gives us insight into the very thing that could eventually act as the fuel for the tragedies for the 21st.

Special thanks to Vinny Andreotti, Sergey Cheremisinov, and Molly Pan & Eric Guillen for their incredible musical skills.

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Pandemic: Rendering a Hue and Cry

Pandemic: Rendering a Hue and Cry

Alexander von Sternberg