In preparation for the fall, you will participate in the Freshman Reading Project. Each year the Honors Program selects a book to be read by all incoming first-year Honors students. The Freshman Reading Project promotes community through the common experience of reading and discussing a thought-provoking text. Please read the book before arriving at Baylor. Once on campus, you will engage in a discussion with other students about the themes and ideas gleaned from your reading. Completion of the Freshman Reading Project is required.
This year’s reading, The Ghost Map, is particularly relevant for our current situation. The book, written in an engaging style, recounts a key event leading to the development of the modern study of epidemiology. The Ghost Map is a national bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book, and an Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Year. Here is a summary of the book taken from the Barnes and Noble web site:
It's the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure--garbage removal, clean water, sewers--necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action--and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time. In a triumph of multidisciplinary thinking, Johnson illuminates the intertwined histories of the spread of disease, the rise of cities, and the nature of scientific inquiry, offering both a riveting history and a powerful explanation of how it has shaped the world we live in.
Steven Johnson, The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic (Penguin Group, 2007)