Plague in Paradise

Plague in Paradise

by Jeffrey S. Copeland

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A fast moving account of the last major outbreak of the plague (the Black Death) in the United States, which happened in Los Angeles, California, in 1924. What doctors first believed to be another outbreak of the same Spanish Flu that killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide in 1918 turned out instead to be the pneumonic plague, and in this instance, it spread quite rapidly through the Mexican community in the Macy Street Area of the city. The medical community was ill prepared to handle such an outbreak, and they were also quite divided on the best way to treat the victims and control the spread of the plague. The story is about the efforts of many doctors and nurses who worked tirelessly to help those afflicted. Racism, nationalism, and greed all reared an ugly head before all was over, leaving the civic and medical leaders of Los Angeles to come to grips with all three as they helped the city move forward and become the "Paradise of the West."

Overview: Families in the Mexican community of Los Angeles are getting sick. Some are dying. Has the Spanish Influenza returned as some suspect? Dr. Matthew Thompson, the most skilled diagnostician at Los Angeles County General Hospital, fears something even more deadly. When patients develop boils, their skin darkens, and they start coughing up blood, his worst fears are confirmed: Plague--the Black Death--has taken root just a few miles from the hospital and main center of commerce of the city.

Some in civic government and even a few high ranking medical officials would like this outbreak kept quiet, even if the secrecy costs the lives of those presently afflicted. The reputation and future of a whole city is at stake. It is more important to protect "The Paradise of the West," as Los Angeles is now known for its healthful climate, beautiful beaches, and bountiful opportunities.

What happens when a plague hits a minority group whose welfare is of little concern to government and medical leaders? Dr. Thompson, Nurse Maria McDonnell, and Fr. Medardo Brualla of Our Lady Queen of Angels Parish decide to fight for the welfare of all, but they find themselves facing much more than a medical crisis: fear, racism, and greed.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940161683460
Publisher: Paragon House Publishers
Publication date: 09/25/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Jeffrey Copeland is Professor and Head of the Department of Languages and Literatures at the University of Northern Iowa, where he teaches children's and young adult literature courses and English Education. He has authored and edited over two dozen books, including Inman’s War: A Soldier’s Story of Life in a Colored Battalion in WWII, Olivia’s Story: The Conspiracy of Heroes Behind ‘Shelley V. Kraemer’, Shell Games: The Life and Times of Pearl McGill, Industrial Spy and Pioneer Labor Activist, Ain’t No Harm to Kill the Devil: The Life and Legend of John Fairfield, Abolitionist for Hire, and Finding Fairfield. He lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

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