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Stanley

Piedmont, CA, United States | Member Since 2007

72
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 210 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
9

  • The Demon Under The Microscope

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Thomas Hager
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1862)
    Performance
    (1128)
    Story
    (1127)

    The Nazis discovered it. The Allies won the war with it. It conquered diseases, changed laws, and single-handedly launched the era of antibiotics. This incredible discovery was sulfa, the first antibiotic medication. In The Demon Under the Microscope, Thomas Hager chronicles the dramatic history of the drug that shaped modern medicine.

    Sara says: "A fantastic book"
    "Great Book!!!!!"
    Overall

    OK. This purports to be the story of the development of sulfa drugs. Boring, you say? That's what I thought. I purchased it on the strengths of the other reviews. And, glad I did. This is the most intriguing and interesting story I've read this year. Extremely well told and narrated.

    It is actually the history of the treatment (or lack thereof) of bacterial infections over the years. I'll bet you didn't know Calvin Coolidge had a son who died because a blister on his foot got infected? Or that Doctors used phenols to treat a minor medical procedure on Queen Victoria? Or that the Nazis prevented the most brilliant scientists of their time from getting a Nobel prize?

    At times I got a bit confused when the author backed up to explain some historical or preceding event. I rather think that had more to do with the fact that this is an audio book and you need to pay careful attention.

    Overall, though, I really must give this story my highest ratings and would recommend it to the layman and scientist alike.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Charles C. Mann
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (738)
    Performance
    (596)
    Story
    (598)

    More than 200 million years ago, geological forces split apart the continents. Isolated from each other, the two halves of the world developed totally different suites of plants and animals. Columbus’s voyages brought them back together - and marked the beginning of an extraordinary exchange of flora and fauna between Eurasia and the Americas. As Charles Mann shows, this global ecological tumult - the “Columbian Exchange” - underlies much of subsequent human history. Presenting the latest generation of research by scientists, Mann shows the creation a worldwide trade network....

    Amazon Customer says: "fasinating new perspective on history"
    "Fantastic. Best book I've read all year"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Really a remarkable book. Well written and very interesting delivery of information that could have been boring. Very thought provoking work about how the world changed after Columbus landed. The book touches on how disease shaped (mainly) the new world, how Spanish gold changed Europe and China (and the Philippines), new world crops fed (and the failed to feed) Europe, how those same crops changed food production in China, and how rubber is currently changing the far East. I will never think of history the same way. I can't say enough about this book. If you are at all interested in history, get it and listen now.

    18 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • A Short History of Medicine: Modern Library Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Frank Gonzalez-Crussi
    • Narrated By John McDonough
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    Praised for his erudite writing, renowned scientist Frank Gonzalez-Crussi penned this concise history of medicine, beginning with the most primitive health-care practices and ending with the technology of modern medicine that we enjoy today. As with all Modern Library Chronicles, A Short History of Medicine is a wonderful primer for anyone interested in the subject.

    Stanley says: "Dull and Disorganized"
    "Dull and Disorganized"
    Overall

    Gonzalez-Crussi's book (and McDonough's narration) made me want to pour gasoline on my head. It is a boring jumble of historical facts with no apparent organization. It was so bad that I stopped listening to it after about 3 hours. Instead, I urge you to listen to Thomas Hager's very excellent book entitled "The Demon under the Microscope". It is a story of the history of infection and the advent of sulfa drugs as a cure.

    12 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Justinian's Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By William Rosen
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    Overall
    (249)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (72)

    The emperor Justinian reunified Rome's fractured empire by defeating the Goths and Vandals. At his capital in Constantinople, he built the world's most beautiful building, married the most powerful empress, and wrote the empire's most enduring legal code, seemingly restoring Rome's fortunes for the next five hundred years. Then, in the summer of 542, he encountered a flea. The ensuing outbreak of bubonic plague killed 5,000 people a day in Constantinople and nearly killed Justinian himself.

    joan says: "More history than Disease"
    "Just OK"
    Overall

    Lots of information, but the authors digress constantly. The irrelevant details get in the way of understanding the big picture. Also, the audio book is poorly edited. Several sections have 10-15 seconds of repeated text. Summary: a very interesting subject, but the editor should be fired.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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