Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America

Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America

by Susan Campbell Bartoletti


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What happens when a person's reputation has been forever damaged? With archival photographs and text among other primary sources, this riveting biography of Mary Mallon by the Sibert medalist and Newbery Honor winner Susan Bartoletti looks beyond the tabloid scandal of Mary's controversial life. How she was treated by medical and legal officials reveals a lesser-known story of human and constitutional rights, entangled with the science of pathology and enduring questions about who Mary Mallon really was. How did her name become synonymous with deadly disease? And who is really responsible for the lasting legacy of Typhoid Mary? This thorough exploration includes an author's note, timeline, annotated source notes, and bibliography.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544313675
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 08/04/2015
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 129,975
Product dimensions: 6.58(w) x 7.76(h) x 0.88(d)
Lexile: 980L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Susan Campbell Bartoletti is the author of  the Newbery Honor book Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow, the Robert F. Sibert Medal–winning Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine, and TheyCalled Themselves the KKK. Her work has received dozens of other awards and honors, including the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction. A former teacher, she is now a full-time writer living in Moscow, Pennsylvania. Visit her website at  www.scbartoletti.com.

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Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book ever
BuriedUnderBooks More than 1 year ago
I've known about Typhoid Mary as far back as I can remember and was always intrigued by this cautionary tale but knew little of this woman's story beyond the fact that she was an asymptomatic carrier of a deadly disease. When I was offered the opportunity to read this new biography, I jumped at the chance and I'm really glad I did. Mary Mallon was a woman trapped by her times and its male-dominated society but also a victim of yellow journalism and the misguided intentions of scientists and doctors, led by sanitary engineer and epidemiologist Dr. George A. Soper, who valued their work far above human rights. Until now, I had no idea that this Irish immigrant cook was only the first of numerous "healthy carriers" and that, in fact, she caused the deaths of many fewer people than the old tales would have us believe. She did make a lot of people sick but she didn't understand how and it didn't help that Soper and others let their arrogance towards an uneducated poor woman get in the way of gaining her cooperation. If only they had treated her with respect and compassion, the second half of Mary's life would have gone much differently. The award-winning Ms. Bartoletti has done extensive research and it shows but, more importantly, she sheds a light on the paternalistic attitudes in existence in the first third of the 20th century and the willingness of those in power to ignore legalities and the Constitution itself even when confronted with the illogic of what they do. Written for the young adult market, Terrible Typhoid Mary also has much to offer adults as well as middle graders not only in the riveting story of one unfortunate woman but in what power run amok can do. A cautionary tale, indeed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago