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The Demon Under The Microscope Audiobook

The Demon Under The Microscope

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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 (2490 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ana 10-23-08
    Ana 10-23-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    7
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    2
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    Overall
    "History at its best, and very well read"

    On first approach you wouldn't think that the history of the discovery of sulfa could be fascinating, but this book is absorbing, it is history at its best. You know how history has to be felt? How history should not be something we think about only at an intellectual level, but, something we experience at an emotional level? That's what this book allows us to do. And the great thing is it is not melodramatic, it is wonderfully done. I warmly recommend it.
    The reader is also great, he is now up there with Simon Vance and Stephen Briggs in my list.
    I have to say that I don't usually read non-fiction, but the book was on sale and the reviews were good and I was not disappointed one bit. Way to go Audible! =)

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie M. 09-27-08
    Debbie M. 09-27-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    56
    18
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    Overall
    "Unexpectedly fascinating"

    I bought this book during Audible's summer $5.95 sale (I guess "sales" do work!) and was unexpectedly drawn into this far-ranging history of the discovery and development of sulfa drugs. The author does a terrific job of providing details about the personal lives of the characters so that they're three dimensional, and descriptions of the social/politic environment so that their scientific work is placed in a historical context. I would have given it five stars except that I really disliked the reader -- his overly-dramatic reading actually detracted from the book. I especially disliked how he draws out the final word of each sentence into a falling cadence, changing the final syllable of the final word into two syllables. (Sorry, can't describe it more exactly.) End result is that he continually sounds patronizing and bored.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha 08-24-08
    Samantha 08-24-08 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
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    138
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    "Amazing"

    One of my all time favorite books. The author has masterfully humanized history with out taking liberties with the facts. The author makes complex concepts in science absolutly accessible to everyone and makes a story that will interest those who have little interest in biology and medicine. The narration is wonderful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cate F. Richmond, VA USA 08-21-08
    Cate F. Richmond, VA USA 08-21-08 Member Since 2007

    needlewoman

    HELPFUL VOTES
    91
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    Overall
    "Too bad about the Reader"

    This fascinating book had a tendency to put me to sleep, thanks to the rather droning tone of the reader. It was worth sticking with it for the impressive and moving story of the discovery of the very first antibiotic - sulfa.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Portsmouth, VA, USA 08-15-08
    Julie Portsmouth, VA, USA 08-15-08
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    "Not a light read!"

    Although the story is fascinating and I learned much about our history, it is very difficult to follow the plot through all the scientists and chemical formulations. This is emphasized because it is all prose and no dialogue. Still, if you can stay with it, it is worth the education.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DrAlexW 07-30-08
    DrAlexW 07-30-08
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    2
    Overall
    "Fascinating Science History"

    Written expertly and read with great energy, this audiobook is a fascinating retelling of the stories of genius, of caring, and of cunning in what was truly the genesis of modern medical practice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aryn 07-07-08
    Aryn 07-07-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    415
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    921
    104
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    29
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    "Amazing!"

    The book is well written, easily listened to, and the author did his research in an amazingly succinct, humane, and understandable fashion. Learn while you enjoy - how great is that!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. 07-04-08
    E. 07-04-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
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    122
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    "horror, humanity, and human progress!!"

    Fantastic advances in medical treatment were a product of brilliant minds, tirelss dedication, twisted politics, cultural shifts, and happy accidents. Who knew? Everything we take for granted was both mindbogglingly simple and a long labor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Crystal Sarasota, FL, USA 06-09-08
    Crystal Sarasota, FL, USA 06-09-08
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    1
    Overall
    "Good content, audio quality less than excellent"

    This book was captivating, although the audiio quality was inferior at times. It was as if the recording was produced in an echo chamber! The author deserves a second recording of his work. As far as the topic is concerned, this book was superior. If you want a detailed yet interesting accounting of the history (complete with irony) of the discovery of antibiotics...this book is for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Micheal Fasulo 03-30-08 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    11
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "Superb book!"

    Excellent listen! highly recommended favorite audiobook on this site to date!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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