John M. Barry

Thursday, April 19, 7-9 p.m. in the Library Center auditorium

John M. Barry, author of "The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History," joins the Big Read with a talk and book signing. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

"Station Eleven" makes us ponder, "What if?" But John M. Barry's "The Great Influenza" explores what did happen when, at the height of WWI, history's most lethal influenza virus erupted in an Army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide.

Barry's book in 2004 prompted the National Academies of Science to ask him to give a keynote speech at an international scientific meeting on pandemic influenza. In the years since, he has advised national security entities, the George W. Bush and Obama White Houses, state governments, and the private sector on influenza preparedness and response, and he continues his activity in this area.

Barry is a prize-winning and New York Times best-selling author whose books have won multiple awards. The National Academies of Science named his 2004 book "The Great Influenza" the year's outstanding book on science or medicine