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The Demon Under The Microscope | [Thomas Hager]

The Demon Under The Microscope

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

Sulfa saved millions of lives, among them, Winston Churchill's and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr.'s, but its real effects have been even more far reaching. Sulfa changed the way new drugs were developed, approved, and sold. It transformed the way doctors treated patients. And it ushered in the era of modern medicine. The very concept that chemicals created in a lab could cure disease revolutionized medicine, taking it from the treatment of symptoms and discomfort to the eradication of the root cause of illness.

A strange and vibrant story, The Demon Under the Microscope illuminates the colorful characters, corporate strategy, individual idealism, careful planning, lucky breaks, cynicism, heroism, greed, hard work, and central (though mistaken) idea that brought sulfa to the world. This is a fascinating scientific tale with all the excitement and intrigue of a great suspense novel.

©2006 Thomas Hager; (P)2006 Tantor Media, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Highly entertaining." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1735 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Thomas AUSTIN, TX, United States 03-31-13
    Thomas AUSTIN, TX, United States 03-31-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "This was a surprise!"
    Any additional comments?

    I bought this book at a reduced price, and not really expecting anything special, but I was spellbound by this remarkable history. I do not write reviews, but I hope more people can enjoy this Mr Hager's account of scientific history.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer The Woodlands, TX, United States 03-29-13
    Amazon Customer The Woodlands, TX, United States 03-29-13 Member Since 2011

    My reading and listening tastes are eclectic.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating Listen"

    Okay, I know what you are thinking. A history on the discovery of sulfa drugs. Dry and boring. NO! Not dry, not boring and actually interesting. There are quirks and turns in the path of this discovery that are just fascinating. The factors playing into the discovery are intriguing.. The coincidences are amazing. I really enjoyed listening to this. I learned a lot. Like sulfa was discovered before penicillin. And a whole lot more. So try it, you just might like it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Letta Mego Oklahoma, USA 03-23-13
    Letta Mego Oklahoma, USA 03-23-13 Member Since 2007

    Letta Mego .. fighting electric utility companies & their military-like tactics forcing wireless transmitter "smart" meters into US homes

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You'll be surprized"
    Would you listen to The Demon Under The Microscope again? Why?

    Probably not.. I already knew most of it... and I have so many books to listen to that I haven't heard.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The details about the wound care...and the history....and bringing those characters to life that I've read about in all the biology courses I've taken. I just loved that.


    What does Stephen Hoye bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He made every word enjoyable.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The struggle that people had to go through just to get basic good care instituted.


    Any additional comments?

    You'll be surprised how much you like this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luis A. Saenz Texas 03-23-13
    Luis A. Saenz Texas 03-23-13 Member Since 2009

    I am an award winning journalist. I was a television News Reporter and Anchor for ten years. I then decided to go to graduate school and I have been teaching broadcasting and announcing and voice acting for 23 years at a University in Texas. I also host two talk shows for the local NPR station.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gets old quick"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I think it needed more suspense and perhaps a bit more of what was going on in the lab and what other people knew about it and the consequences it would or could have


    What could Thomas Hager have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The narration was good but sometimes you can only do so much with the groceries they give you.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Again, he just needed some better writing to work with.


    What character would you cut from The Demon Under The Microscope?

    I am not sure since I did not listen all the way through


    Any additional comments?

    I love all books and if it has a good story line, good narration and easy to follow I will listen.
    Sometimes there just isnt much to follow

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy GREENWOOD, INDIANA, United States 03-20-13
    Jeremy GREENWOOD, INDIANA, United States 03-20-13 Member Since 2013

    Say something about yourself!

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
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    "Very enjoyable!"
    Any additional comments?

    The story behind sulfa drugs was truly engaging and enlightening. Hager does a wonderful job of incorporating science and story in the history of the drug. Truly enjoyable!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbu Richmond, VA, United States 03-18-13
    Barbu Richmond, VA, United States 03-18-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Sulfa drugs history."

    Well documented story of the development of the first effective bacteriostatic drugs. Particularly moving is the life and work story of Gerhard Domagk, credited the development of Prontosil, first antibiotic.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne D'bourget Portland, ME United States 03-15-13
    Suzanne D'bourget Portland, ME United States 03-15-13 Member Since 2010

    mainemamma

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "interesting read"

    I did not know the history of sulfa and how important it was. I think of penicillin as the first antibiotic and was glad to learn about this important precursor.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miguel Cheswick, PA, US 03-15-13
    Miguel Cheswick, PA, US 03-15-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    18
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    Story
    "Motivating and historically educational"
    What made the experience of listening to The Demon Under The Microscope the most enjoyable?

    Inspiring review on the history of Sulfa discovery. A team effort lead by a pathologist, a medical specialist poorly recognized but once again, successful at making a significant contribution to modern medicine. The book is accessible for everyone, using non-technical language. The historical documentation is rather complete and seemingly unbiased.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The recognition of the role of a pathologist as a basic researcher breaking new ground.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The moment when the central character (Domagk) realizes the potential of his discovery.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When second world war almost wiped out Domagk's efforts.


    Any additional comments?

    Weel documented. Well read. A lot of fun.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven New York, NY, United States 03-03-13
    Steven New York, NY, United States 03-03-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Depressing, not good, unless doctor?"
    What disappointed you about The Demon Under The Microscope?

    The story is fine like all the other books on the market about historical development of goods, products and commodities. Salt, Cod, Life Lobster...etc. I thought the narration was depressing and poorly done. I would recommend you do a preview listen before you buy it. I would note I like almost every book I listen. Rarely, actually never have a complaint. Only read highest recommended books and love Audible. Book talks a lot about open wounds, blood, amputations too. Like I said, if you like this kinda stuff and also the narration. Maybe this book is for you.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Thomas Hager? Why or why not?

    Sure


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Stephen Hoye?

    Anyone


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cora Keegan Vancouver, BC, Canada 02-27-13
    Cora Keegan Vancouver, BC, Canada 02-27-13 Member Since 2012

    I am inspired by the beautiful women, girls, and men who I’ve met over the years that lack the self-esteem to recognize their own beauty.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
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    "Great but 50% too big"
    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    This story details how modern medicine was changed by the first antibiotics. A real eye opener especially about child birth infections and battle field surgery. The author details how dangerous and short life was before these drugs came out before world war 2. However, the book is too verbose. The details of some of the research are boring, for example in one point of the book they read off 10 minutes of numbers that were lab sample numbers, I let out a groan half way through that mind numbing detail. I took to pushing the skip 15 seconds ahead button a lot. Really about half this book could be edited out. It has a lot of details about unsuccessful experiments, some people's names and locations that don't real add much to the story.


    Do you think The Demon Under The Microscope needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Nope, enough said.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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