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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning Boston University educator and researcher Muhammad H. Zaman provides a chilling look at the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, explaining how we got here and what we must do to address this growing global health crisis.

In September 2016, a woman in Nevada became the first known case in the US of a person who died of an infection resistant to every antibiotic available. Her death is the worst nightmare of infectious disease doctors and public health professionals. While bacteria live within us and are essential for our health, some strains can kill us. As bacteria continue to mutate, becoming increasingly resistant to known antibiotics, we are likely to face a public health crisis of unimaginable proportions. “It will be like the great plague of the middle ages, the influenza pandemic of 1918, the AIDS crisis of the 1990s, and the Ebola epidemic of 2014 all combined into a single threat”, Muhammad H. Zaman warns. 

The Biography of Resistance is Zaman’s riveting and timely look at why and how microbes are becoming superbugs. It is a story of science and evolution that looks to history, culture, attitudes and our own individual choices and collective human behavior. Following the trail of resistant bacteria from previously uncontacted tribes in the Amazon to the isolated islands in the Arctic, from the urban slums of Karachi to the wilderness of the Australian outback, Zaman examines the myriad factors contributing to this unfolding health crisis - including war, greed, natural disasters, and germophobia - to the culprits driving it: pharmaceutical companies, farmers, industrialists, doctors, governments, and ordinary people, all whose choices are pushing us closer to catastrophe. 

Joining the ranks of acclaimed works like Microbe Hunters, The Emperor of All Maladies, and Spillover, A Biography of Resistance is a riveting and chilling tale from a natural storyteller on the front lines, and a clarion call to address the biggest public health threat of our time.

©2020 Muhammad H. Zaman (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Biography of Resistance

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Excellent read for a complicated issue

The author broke down the subject of antimicrobial resistance to make it easy to understand, not only the science but the history and socioeconomic intricacies associated with the subject.

59 people found this helpful

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  • 08-29-20

Intriguing

This book was a lot more interesting that I expected. I couldn’t stop listening. I would definitely recommend this book.

4 people found this helpful

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Fascinating & terrifying

Written in a clear, concise, approachable manner, this is a fascinating read for biology nerds like me. For the people who think once we get a vaccine for COVID-19, we'll be safe, this book should be a wakeup call that microbial diseases have been and always will be part of the human experience.

3 people found this helpful

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great read

This book is interesting and the scope is pretty wide. It appears to me to be written assuming that the reader is not a scientist nor completely ignorant on the subject. It's very thought provoking and explains how the problem (bacteria which are resistant to antibiotics) is very complex and how the causes are extremely diverse.

3 people found this helpful

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This is Something We All Need to Pay Attention to

The Biography of Resistance is a thoroughly researched book filled with information of how we have arrived at the edge of being overrun by antibiotic resistant bacteria. Muhammad Zaman does a deep dive into the history of antibiotics, and how bacteria are rapidly adapting to them. Additionally, he explains, while we need the research more than ever, why pharmaceutical companies are bailing out of antibiotic research and development. After reading this you'll have an excellent picture of what this this problem consists of and what needs to be done to overcome it.

3 people found this helpful

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Good medical education for everyone

This book is possibly even more relevant in these COVID-19 times. Although it deals almost entirely with bacteria and not viruses, this is still a very good book to educate readers about the complexities of immunology and medical research, and the paramount importance of science to solve our current problems.

2 people found this helpful

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Another proof of our shared, living, connectedness

I revelled in learning more detailed facts & vocabulary surrounding antibiotic resistance in all living forms from bacteria to plants to animals and us.
Narration was a little « rectotono » but this may have been appropriate to the subject matter??...

2 people found this helpful

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Good overview of the science and politics of AMR

He gives historical, scientific and political causes of antimicrobial resistance. Factual and educational and holds your interest.

2 people found this helpful

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thanks

great info, great perspective thanks can't wait to listen to more very detailed enjoyed the history

2 people found this helpful

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Robust chronicle of the growth of AMR

I appreciated the indepth discussion regarding the growth of AMR; the highlights of which I was familiar with, not the background.

1 person found this helpful