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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 (2038 )
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Performance
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  •  
    budsmom Baltimore, MD 07-01-13
    budsmom Baltimore, MD 07-01-13 Member Since 2015

    Mystery Maven

    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    "Fascinating!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it was one of the best books I've ever read. A fascinating read!


    What other book might you compare The Demon Under The Microscope to and why?

    The Great Influenza because of the medical information they contain, written in an easy to understand, descriptive way.


    What about Stephen Hoye’s performance did you like?

    He was great. All the characters seem real and it was easy to keep them straight.


    Any additional comments?

    I was amazed at the lack of medical care as we know it in the US. In a country that was one of the world's leaders in inventions and innovations in the late 1800's - 1930's, it was appalling how ignorant the so called physicians were about disease, infections, and how to treat them properly. So many people died unnecessarily due to lack of sanitation and proper medicine. I was shocked to find out that doctors used many of the same methods that were used during the Middle Ages! No medical schools in the US were regulated or accredited; no research was done for anything and a man (no woman) could become a doctor with as little as 2 years of training. Almost all medical discoveries happened in Europe, Germany/France mostly. Here is where the first discoveries of molecules to produce antibiotics and antibacterials happened. This book not only explains very scientific ideas clearly, and in a way for anyone to understand.
    This is the history of modern medicine as we know it today. It was not until 1937 that the first antibiotic was produced. The results amazed the world and changed the history of medicine. It is also the modern history of pharmacology. A fascinating read!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Klein Rocketville, Maryland - USA 06-17-13
    R. Klein Rocketville, Maryland - USA 06-17-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Amazing History of the war on bacteria"

    An engaging story about the fight against bacterial infection - which only began with any meaningful success in the 1930s. The book provides an in-depth and interesting description of the "colorful" story about how the dye industry gave birth to the chemical industry - and ultimately helped conquer infection. The book provides insight into a lot of back story, related to the first and second world wars, patents, intrigue in the research community, and how Germany's chemical secrets and patents were plundered after the second world war.

    A good listen if you enjoy history, industry, and science.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda 06-16-13
    Melinda 06-16-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A world without antibiotics"

    I don't often think about how much our world has changed, but this compelling history of the development of the drugs we take for granted made me all too aware that in another time I could have lost my beautiful children to things that are no more than an annoyance today. I don't too often stray from fiction, but the pace and story-telling of this surprisingly interesting book kept me interested all the way through. A really enjoyable and educational read.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Oliver, British Columbia, Canada 04-19-13
    Sandra Oliver, British Columbia, Canada 04-19-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    7
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    "I really enjoyed this one"

    This is a fascinating look into the history of medicine. The narration is excellent.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas 03-31-13
    Thomas 03-31-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    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
  •  
    Sharon Schafer Bennett The Woodlands, TX, United States 03-29-13
    Sharon Schafer Bennett The Woodlands, TX, United States 03-29-13 Member Since 2014

    My reading and listening tastes are eclectic.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    122
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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 03-23-13
    Letta Mego 03-23-13

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

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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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
  •  
    Kindle Customer 03-23-13 Member Since 2015

    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 2014

    Say something about yourself!

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
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    Story
    "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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    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

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