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  • 1493

  • Uncovering the New World Columbus Created
  • By: Charles C. Mann
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 17 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,365
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,135
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,137

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....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The top history book of the decade

  • By avdefsa on 12-28-11

Fantastic. Best book I've read all year

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-09-11

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.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • The Demon Under The Microscope

  • By: Thomas Hager
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hoye
  • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,978
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,128
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,127

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A fantastic book

  • By Sara on 09-02-08

Great Book!!!!!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-21-08

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.

61 of 65 people found this review helpful

  • A Short History of Medicine

  • Modern Library Chronicles
  • By: Frank Gonzalez-Crussi
  • Narrated by: John McDonough
  • Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 73
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 42

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the Best Medical History Books You'll Find!

  • By D.C. Lozar on 04-09-18

Dull and Disorganized

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-21-08

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.

15 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Justinian's Flea

  • Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe
  • By: William Rosen
  • Narrated by: Barrett Whitener
  • Length: 11 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 328
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 145
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 145

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More history than Disease

  • By joan on 06-25-07

Just OK

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-04-08

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful