When looked at in retrospect, great pandemics seem eerily strange. Everyone agrees that their consequences were significant. But precisely what those consequences were nobody knows.

In 1918, a great war ended and a great pandemic began. The repercussions of that war may be subject to rival interpretations, but the parameters are clear. Empires fell; a host of nation states were born. A new financial order rendered the world increasingly unstable until the onset of another cataclysmic war. One can contest the details, but the narrative line is clear...

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