Influenza (Spanish Flu) Pandemic of 1918-1920 in Historical Context: A Select Bibliography

Armstrong, James F. "Philadelphia, Nurses, and the Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918." Navy Medicine 92, no. 2 (March-April 2001): 16-20.

Ashford, Bailey K. “Preparation of Medical Officers of the Combat Division in France at the Theatre of Operations.” Military Surgeon 44 (February 1919).

Avery, Oswald Theodore. “A Selective Medium for B. Influenzae, Oleate-hemoglobin Agar.” Journal of the American Medical Association 71, no. 25 (21 December 1918): 2050-52.

Baer, E.D. “Letters to Miss Sanborn: St. Vincent’s Hospital Nurses’ Accounts of World War I.” Journal of Nursing History 2, no. 2 (April 1987): 17-32.

Barnes, Frances M. “Psychoses Complicating Influenza.” Missouri State Medical Association 16 (1919): 115-20.

Barry, John M. The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History. New York: Viking, 2004.

Bernstein, B.J. “The Swine Flu Immunization Program.” Medical Heritage 1, no. 4 (July-August 1985): 236-66.

Beveridge, W.I.B. Influenza: The Last Great Plague: An Unfinished Story of Discovery. New York: Prodist, 1977.

Bloomfield, Arthur, and G.A. Harrop Jr. “Clinical Observations on Epidemic Influenza.” Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin 30, no.1 (1919).

Bogardus, F.B. “Influenza Pneumonia Treated by Blood Transfusion.” New York Medical Journal 109, no. 18 (3 May 1919): 765-68.

Bourne, Randolph. “The War and the Intellectuals.” The Seven Arts 2 (June 1917): 133-46.

Brown, D. "It All Started in Kansas" Washington Post, Weekly Edition 9, no. 21 (23-30 March 1992).

Brown, P., J.A. Morris, and D.C. Gajdusek. “Virus of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Era: New Evidence About Its Antigenic Character.” Science 166, no. 901 (3 October 1969): 117-19.

Burch, M. “‘I Don’t Know Only What We Hear’: The Soldiers’ View of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic.” Indiana Medical Quarterly 9, no. 4 (1983): 23-27.

Burgess, A.M. “Notes on Post-Influenzal Pneumonia at United States Naval Hospital No. 4, Queenstown, Ireland.” United States Naval Medical Bulletin 13, no. 2 (1919): 356.

Burnet, F.M. “Portraits of Viruses: Influenza Virus A.” Intervirology 11, no. 4 (1979): 201-14.

Byerly, Carol R. Fever of War: The Influenza Epidemic in the U.S. Army During World War I. New York: New York University Press, 2005.

Caperton, William B. "History of Flag Career of Rear Admiral William B. Caperton, US Navy, Commencing January 5, 1915." (Washington, DC: n.d [1919?]): 377-382. [Caperton provides an eyewitness account of the 1918 Influenza while serving on Armored Cruiser No. 4, USS Pittsburgh, at Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. The original document is located at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC, in Record Group 45. A photocopy is located in the Navy Department Library. Admiral Caperton authored this document at the end of his career. The full document contains a firsthand account of operations in Haiti, 1915-1916; Nicaragua and Mexico, 1916; and in the South Atlantic, 1917-1919.].

Capps, Joe. “Measures for the Prevention and Control of Respiratory Disease.” Journal of the American Medical Association 71, no. 6 (10 August 1918): 571-73.

Chan, P.K.S. et al. “Pathology of Fatal Infection Associated with Avian Influenza A H5N1 Virus.” Journal of Medical Virology 63, no. 3 (March 2001), 242-46.

Christian, Henry. “Incorrectness of Diagnosis of Death from Influenza.” Journal of the American Medical Association 71 (1918): 1565.

Clifford, A.B., et al. “Report on Influenza by the Staff, U.S. Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, PA.” United States Naval Medical Bulletin 13, no. 4 (1919): 637-645.

Cole, Rufus. “Pneumonia as a Public Health Problem.” Kentucky Medical Journal 16 (1918): 563-65.

Collier, Richard. America’s Forgotten Pandemic. London: Allison and Busby, 1996.

____. The Plague of the Spanish Lady: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919. New York: Atheneum, 1974.

Collins, Selwyn D. “Influenza in the United States, 1887-1956.” Washington, DC: US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, 1957. [Extracted from “Review and Study of Illness and Medical Care With Special Reference to Long-term Trends,” Public Health Monograph No. 48, 1957, also known as Public Health Service Publication No. 544.]

Collins, Selwyn et al. Mortality from Influenza and Pneumonia in 50 Largest Cities of the United States 1910-1929. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1930.

Cowie, D.M., and P.W. Beaven. “Nonspecific Protein Therapy in Influenza Pneumonia.” Journal of the American Medical Association 72, no. 16 (19 April 1919): 1117.

Crosby, Alfred W., Jr. America’s Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918. 2d ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

____. Epidemic & Peace, 1918. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1976.

Daer, C.C. "The Pandemic of Influenza in 1918-19." Washington, DC?: Public Health Service, National Office of Vital Statistics, 19 July 1957.

Davenport, F.M. “The Search for the Ideal Influenza Vaccine.” Postgraduate Medical Journal 55, no. 640 (February 1979): 78-86.

Davenport, R.M., G.N. Meiklejohn, and E.H. Lennette. “Origins and Development of the Commission on Influenza.” Archives of Environmental Health 21, no. 3 (September 1970): 267-72.

Davies, Pete. The Devil’s Flu: The Worlds Deadliest Influenza Epidemic and the Scientific Hunt for the Virus that Caused It. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 2000.

Dingle, J.H., and A.D. Langmuir. “Epidemiology of Acute Respiratory Disease in Military Recruits.” American Review of Respiratory Diseases 97, no. 6 (June 1968): 1-65.

Douglas, R.J. “Prophylaxis and Treatment of Influenza.” In Scientific America’s Medicine, edited by E. Rubinstein and D. Federman. New York: Scientific American Inc., 1994.

Dock, Lavinia et al. History of American Red Cross Nursing. New York: Macmillan, 1922.

Duncan, Kirsty. Hunting the 1918 Flu: One Scientist’s Search for a Killer Virus. Toronto, Canada and Buffalo, NY: University of Toronto Press, 2003.

Durand, M.L. et al. “Acute Bacterial Meningitis in Adults: A Review of 493 Episodes.” New England Journal of Medicine 328, no. 1 (January 1993) 21-28.

Ebert, R.G. “Comments on the Army Venereal Problem.” Military Surgeon 42 (July-December 1918): 19-20.

Emerson, G.M. “The ‘Spanish Lady’ in Alabama.” Alabama Journal of Medical Science 23, no.2 (April 1986): 217-21.

English, F. “Princeton Plagues: The Epidemics of 1832, 1880 and 1918-19.” Princeton History 5 (1986): 18-26.


“Epidemic Influenza and the United States Public Health Service.” Public Health Reports 91, no. 4 (July-August 1976): 378-80.

Falls, Cyril. The Great War. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1959. [For brief remarks on the influenza see page 347. Falls claims that the German Army suffered even worse than the British Army from the influenza which German military personnel referred to as the “Flanders fever.”].

Fell, Egbert. “Postinfluenzal Psychoses.” Journal of the American Medical Association 72, no. 23 (7 June 1919): 1658-59.

Fennel, E.A. “Prophylactic Inoculation Against Pneumonia.” Journal of the American Medical Association 71, no. 26, (28 December 1918): 2115-18.

Fincher, Jack. “America’s Rendezvous with the Deadly Lady.” Smithsonian Magazine 19, no. 10 (January 1989): 130-132, 134-140, 142-145.

Folken, F.G. “Influenza with Unusual Complications.” United States Naval Medical Bulletin 13, no. 2 (1919): 301-305.

Friedlander et al. “The Epidemic of Influenza at Camp Sherman.” Journal of the American Medical Association 71, no. 20 (16 November 1918): 1650-71.

Frost, W.H. “Statistics of Influenza Morbidity.” Public Health Reports 7 (12 March 1920): 584-97.

Galishoff, S. “Newark and the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 43, no. 3 (May-June 1969): 246-58.

Gernhart, Gary. "A Forgotten Enemy: PHS's Fight Against the 1918 Influenza Pandemic." Public Health Reports 114 (November/December 1999): 559-561.

Gibbs, W. Wayt and Christine Soares. “Preparing for a Pandemic.” Scientific American 293, no.5 (November 2005): 45-52, 54. [Although focused on the current threat of an avian influenza pandemic which might sicken one in every three people and kill tens or even hundreds of millions, the article makes reference to the influenza pandemics of 1918, 1957, and 1968 which originated in wild and domestic birds.].

Gilbert, Martin. The First World War: A Complete History. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1994. [See the index for “influenza (the Spanish flu).” On page 479 Gilbert remarks that during one week in October 1918 in London, 2,225 people died of the influenza. This was a greater loss of life than the total of all deaths resulting of four years of German air attacks on the city.].

Gleaves, Albert. A History of the Transportation Service: Adventures and Experiences of United States Transports and Cruisers in the World War. New York: George H. Doran Company, 1921. [see pages 190-193].

Glezen, W.P. “Emerging Infections: Pandemic Influenza.” Epidemiology Review 18, no. 1 (1996): 64-76.

Goodpasture, Ernest W. “Pathology of Pneumonia Flowing Influenza.” United States Naval Medical Bulletin 13, no. 2 (1919): 177-197.

Grist, N.R. “Pandemic Influenza 1918.” British Medical Journal 2, no. 6205 (22-29 December 1979): 1632-33.

Guerra, F. “The Earliest American Epidemic: The Influenza of 1493.” Social Science History 12, no. 3 (1988): 305-25.

Hamilton, D. “Unanswered Questions of the Spanish Flu Pandemic.” Bulletin of the American Association of the History of Nursing 34 (Spring 1992): 6-7.

Harris, John. “Influenza Occurring in Pregnant Women: A Statistical Study of 130 Cases.” Journal of the American Medical Association 72, no. 14 (5 April 1919): 978-80.

Harrop, George A. “The Behavior of the Blood Toward Oxygen in Influenza Infections.” Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin 30 (1919): 335.

Heagerty, J.J. “Influenza and Vaccination.” Canadian Medical Association Journal 145, no. 5 (September 1991, originally published 1919): 481-82.

Hewer, C.L. “1918 Influenza Epidemic.” British Medical Journal 1, no. 6157 (January 1979): 199.

Hildreth, M.L. “The Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919 in France: Contemporary Concepts of Aetiology, Therapy, and Prevention.” Social History of Medicine 4, no. 2 (August 1991): 277-94.

Hoehling, Adolph A. The Great Epidemic. Boston: Little Brown, 1961.

Holland, J.J. “The Origin and Evolution of Chicago Viruses.” In Microbiology and Microbial Infections, v. 1, Virology, edited by Brian W.J. Mahy and Leslie Collier, New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. [See pages 10-20.].

Hope-Simpson, R.E. The Transmission of Epidemic Influenza. New York: Plenum Press, 1992.

“How to Fight Spanish Influenza.” Literary Digest 59 (12 October 1918).

Iezzoni, Lynette. Influenza 1918: The Worst Epidemic in American History. New York: TV Books, 1999.

Johnson, Niall, and Jurgen Mueller. “Updating the Accounts: Global Mortality of the 1918-1920 ‘Spanish’ Influenza Pandemic.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 76, no. 7 (Spring 2002): 105-115.

Jones, Jerry W. U.S. Battleship Operations in World War I. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1998. [See index for “influenza.” On pages 68-69 is a description of the influenza’s effect on several battleships including Battleship No. 33, USS Arkansas. Arkansas suffered eleven deaths from the influenza.].

Kass, A.M. “Infectious Diseases at the Boston City Hospital: The First 60 Years.” Clinical Infectious Disease 17, no. 2 (August 1993): 276-82.

Katz, R.S. “Influenza 1918-1919: A Further Study in Mortality.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 51, no. 4 (Winter 1977): 617-19.

Keegan, John. The First World War. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999. [See page 408 for remarks on the effect of the influenza on German soldiers whose resistance to infection was lowered due to a poor diet. In June 1918 approximately half a million German troops were infected.].

Kennedy, R.M. “Influenza at the U.S. Naval Hospital, Washington, DC.United States Naval Medical Bulletin 13, no. 2 (1919): 355.

Kilbourne, E.D., Influenza. New York: Plenum Medical, 1987.

Kolata, Gina. Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999.

Lamber, Arthur. “Medicine: A Determining Factor in War.” Journal of the American Medical Association 21, no. 24 (14 June 1919): 1713.

Levine, Arnold. Viruses. New York: Scientific American Library, 1992.

Luke, Thomas, Timothy Halenkamp, and Edward Kilbane. "Naval Quarantine: Impervious to Epidemics of Virulent Disease." US Naval Institute Proceedings 132, no.7 (July 2006): 48-53.

McAnally, W.F. “Influenza on a Naval Transport.” United States Naval Medical Bulletin 13, no. 1 (1919): 168-170.

MacNeal, W.J. “Influenza Epidemic of 1918 in the AEF in France and England.” Archives of Internal Medicine 23 (1919): 657.

McNeill, W.H. Plagues and Peoples. Garden City: Anchor Press, 1976. [See pages 209 and 288-9 for the 1918-1919 influenza epidemic].

Martin, Franklin B. Fifty Years of Medicine and Surgery. Chicago: Surgical Publishing Company, 1934.

Morrisey, Carla R. "The Influenza Epidemic of 1918." Navy Medicine 77, no. 3 (May-June 1986): 11-17.

Murdock, Lawrence B. They Also Served. New York: Carlton Press, 1967. [See pages 81 and 86-87 for the effect of the influenza on an anonymous US Navy escort vessel in French waters. The author and more than half of the crew contracted the influenza.].

Osborn, June E. Influenza in America, 1918-1976: History, Science and Politics. New York: Prodist, 1977.

Palmer, Alan. Victory 1918. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000. [See index for “influenza epidemic.”].

Patterson, K. David. Pandemic Influenza, 1700-1900: A Study in Historical Epidemiology. Totowa, NJ: Rowan & Littlefield, 1986.

Pershing, John J. My Experiences in the World War. Vol.2. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1931. [See page 327 in which Pershing, the Commander-in-Chief, American Expeditionary Forces, briefly discusses the seriousness of the influenza epidemic. He remarks that large numbers of sick military personnel arrived in France on troopships, and that of those American military personnel infected, the death rate reached 32%, and in some American units reached 80%. Presumably this death rate refers to patients who developed pneumonia in addition to the influenza.].

Persico, Joe. “The Great Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918.” American Heritage 27, no. 4 (June 1976): 28-31, 80-85.

Peters, Stephanie True. 1918 Influenza Pandemic. New York: Benchmark Books, 2005.

Phillips, Howard and David Killingray eds. Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918-19: New Perspectives. New York: Routledge, 2003.

Ranger, Terence and Paul Slack eds. Epidemics and Ideas: Essays on the Historical Perceptions of Pestilence. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992. [See Index for influenza.]

Reeves, R.S. “Cholangitis Following Influenza.” United States Naval Medical Bulletin 13, no. 3 (1919): 557-558.

Riggs, C.E. “Preventive Medicine at Training Camps and Stations.” United States Naval Medical Bulletin 13, no. 3 (1919): 395-417.

Robinson, K.R. “The Role of Nursing in the Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919.” Nursing Forum 25, no. 2 (1990): 19-26.

Rose, H. Wickliffe. Brittany Patrol: The Story of the Suicide Fleet. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1937. [See pages 299-300 for the impact of the influenza on the yacht USS Emeline (Patrol Vessel No.175) and other ships. After the influenza spread to Emeline the ship put to sea with half the crew sick. The author counted 36 coffins on the quarterdeck of transport USS Martha Washington (No. 3019) when she arrived in France.].

Silver, Joseph F. Communicable and Other Diseases. vol. 9 of The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1928. [see pages 61-169].

Snyder, Thomas L. "The Great Flu Crisis at Mare Island Navy Yard, and Vallejo, California." Navy Medicine 94, no.5 (September - October 2003): 25-29.

Starr, Isaac. “Influenza in 1918: Recollections of the Epidemic in Philadelphia.” Annals of Internal Medicine 85 (1976): 516-18.

Strachan, Hew. The First World War. New York: Viking, 2003.[See index for “influenza epidemic of 1918-19.”].

Stringer, Harry R. ed. The Navy Book of Distinguished Service: An Official Compendium of the Names and Citations of the Men of the United States Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Foreign Governments Who Were Decorated by the Navy Department for Extraordinary Gallantry and Conspicuous Service Above and Beyond the Call of Duty in the World War. Washington, DC: Fassett Publishing Company,1921. [Includes Navy Cross citations for Marie Louise Hidell, Lillian M. Murphy, and Edna E. Place, as well as Letter of Commendations for Elsie Brooke and Martha E. Pringle.].

Stuart-Harris, C.H. “Pandemic Influenza: An Unresolved Problem in Prevention.” Journal of Infectious Disease 122, no.1 (July-August 1970): 108-115.

Taubenberger, J.K. et al. “Initial Genetic Characterization of the 1918 ‘Spanish’ Influenza Virus.” Science 275, no.5307 (21 March 1997): 1793-96.

Tucker, Spencer C. ed. The Encyclopedia World War I: A Political, Social, and Military History. Vol.2. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC CLIO, 2005. [For a useful survey see “Influenza Pandemic (1918-1920)” by Jack McCallum on pages 576-577.].

US Navy. Annual Reports of the Navy Department for the Fiscal Year 1919. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1920. [See “Report of the Surgeon General,” pp.2414-2506.].

Van Hartesveldt, Fred R., ed. The 1918-1919 Pandemic of Influenza: The Urban Impact in the Western World. Lewiston, NY: E. Mellen Press, 1992.

Weinstein, L. “Influenza - 1918, A Revisit?” New England Journal of Medicine 294, no. 19 (May 1976): 1058-60.

Welch, David. Germany, Propaganda and Total War, 1914-1918: The Sins of Omission. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2000. [See the index for “influenza” for remarks on the effects of the influenza on Germany. The wartime Allied blockade of Germany led to shortages of food. The resulting nutritional deficiency made the German population particularly vulnerable to the influenza.].

Williams, P.M. “High Temperature in Influenza.” United States Naval Medical Bulletin 13, no. 4 (1919): 799.

"A Winding Sheet and a Wooden Box." Navy Medicine 77, no. 3 (May-June 1986): 18-19. [Navy Nurse Josie Brown and the 1918 Influenza pandemic.].

Wise, John C. “The Medical Reserve Corps of the U.S. Navy.” Military Surgeon 43 (July 1918): 68.


Acknowledgement: The Office of the Historian and Navy Medicine Magazine assisted with the preparation of this bibliography.