Deadliest Enemy

Our War Against Killer Germs
Narrated by: Jamie Renell
Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
5 out of 5 stars (969 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

We are facing an overwhelming army of deadly, invisible enemies. We need a plan - before it's too late. 

Unlike natural disasters, whose destruction is concentrated in a limited area over a period of days, and illnesses, which have devastating effects but are limited to individuals and their families, infectious disease has the terrifying power to disrupt everyday life on a global scale, overwhelming public and private resources and bringing trade and transportation to a grinding halt. 

In today's world, it's easier than ever to move people, animals, and materials around the planet, but the same advances that make modern infrastructure so efficient have made epidemics and even pandemics nearly inevitable. And as outbreaks of Ebola, MERS, yellow fever, and Zika have demonstrated, we are woefully underprepared to deal with the fallout. So what can - and must - we do in order to protect ourselves from mankind's deadliest enemy? 

Drawing on the latest medical science, case studies, policy research, and hard-earned epidemiological lessons, Deadliest Enemy explores the resources and programs we need to develop if we are to keep ourselves safe from infectious disease. The authors show how we could wake up to a reality in which many antibiotics no longer cure, bioterror is a certainty, and the threat of a disastrous influenza pandemic looms ever larger. Only by understanding the challenges we face can we prevent the unthinkable from becoming the inevitable. 

Deadliest Enemy is high scientific drama, a chronicle of medical mystery and discovery, a reality check, and a practical plan of action. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2017 Michael T. Osterholm (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Osterholm and Olshaker calmly show us that Mother Nature is the 'greatest bioterrorist of them all.' Marshaling solid scientific evidence, they question why we have spent billions on the 'war on terror' and virtually nothing for an inevitable calamity that will kill millions. This stunning book is a clarion call to mount a Manhattan Project 2.0 that would prepare for the coming global pandemic. Someone should listen." (Kai Bird, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and coauthor of American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer)

"As a former governor responsible for the welfare and health of my state, and a former United States Senator concerned with national security, I applaud Deadliest Enemy as a chilling and important wakeup call. Not only is it a fascinating human story and medical detective drama, it lays out the great public health challenges facing humanity and the actions that need to be initiated or enhanced to avert their life or death consequences." (Bob Graham, former governor of Florida, US senator, and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee)

"Deadliest Enemy is a lucid and concise account of how the battle against deadly germs is in many ways the most important war of all. Deadliest Enemy deftly melds authoritative science with a gripping narrative to tell what is arguably the most important story of our era." (Peter Bergen, CNN's national security analyst and author of United States of Jihad)

What members say
Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    839
  • 4 Stars
    104
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    713
  • 4 Stars
    118
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    742
  • 4 Stars
    87
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting

For those who say "it's just the flu" - this book is for you. This book really lays out how damaging and completely disrupting a pandemic could be - and in a way we may not necessarily think about. People have "just the flu" but the grocery shelves are empty because a good portion of the field workers, truck drivers, grocery store workers, etc have the flu; and a good portion of those who don't have it don't want to risk getting exposed so call in "sick." Stuff just doesn't get done. The financial impact of not only one country, but all across the globe, is devastating. And while this book does investigate many infectious diseases, the flu is the one we should be most worried about. The majority of individuals today who have had access to vaccinations for decades have forgotten, or never learned, the suffering of those who had to endure, or die, of those illnesses. What people don't seem to internalize is that some of most vulnerable are children.

Bottom line: Read this book and GET YOUR DAMN VACCINES, PEOPLE!!!!!

19 people found this helpful

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

Topical treatise on virus flu pandemics

The authors of DEADLIEST ENEMY predict the current coronavirus pandemic and much worse. This book, released exactly three years ago, is a call to arms about the need for world governments to take actions to better prepare for inevitable virus flu pandemics such as the current coronaviruus one. Other topics covered include the need to prepare vaccines in advance of need and the risk of overuse of antibiotics both for humans and animals. Most of Deadliest Enemy deals with the risk of virus pandemics but it also covers bacterial diseases.

Considering the importance of the messages in this book I very, very highly recommend Deadliest Enemy.

18 people found this helpful

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

"Band News Mike" is at it again!

Dr. Mike Osterholm was my infectious disease (ID) epidemiology professor in graduate school, and he was Minnesota State Epidemiologist when I started working as an epidemiologist in Minnesota. After I heard Mike give several presentations, I learned that I was always coming away with some sense of impending doom. Mike, who shares with us his moniker, "Bad News Mike", continues in that vein.

After listening to this book, I came away with a great concern about the impending ID epidemics, especially with antibiotic resistance and the need for a better vaccine development program (Mike shares how the economics of vaccine development are such that it needs government support to happen).

Mike shares many personal and professional stories within this book, which makes for an easy book to listen to.

I just wish the narrator had done his homework in learning pronunciation of Foege (fay-gee vs. foje) and WHO (W-H-O vs who)

14 people found this helpful

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

Boy did he nail the CV-19 outbreak!

Tons of great info for sure, and a map of pandemic progression that will be super handy in the coming year.

10 people found this helpful

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

everyone should read this.

Spooky but worthwhile. Osterholm called what is going on right now. If you want to find factual, real solutions to prevent a pandemic like Covid-19 from happening again, support what this scientist is doing.

When we come out of the other side of this virus we are going to have to have difficult discussions. We the public, have to inform ourselves. This book does a wonderful job of helping us, help our future.

6 people found this helpful

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

Not an alarmist

this book isn't written by someone out in left field. It is written by someone we all should listen to. Read this book to get a better understanding of our Enemy. My only hope is that government officials world wide will read this book and come up with a strategy. It's not just science, but many political and economic changes are needed to avert disaster. It didn't hurt that the book was written from someone in my home state. :-)

6 people found this helpful

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

Amazing, kind of scary book

I'm not sure I would've gotten this book before February 2020, but then COVID-19 hit. It is very informative and presents information in pretty good layman's terms, though I have been reading about some of the underlying information on the side as well. I can only hope more people in government leadership read this and learn from mistakes, missed opportunities from our own COVID pandemic.

3 people found this helpful

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

Great book

I listened to this book it was full off good information. I recommend it with the covid 19 pandemic going on it may make people realize how deadly this is!

2 people found this helpful

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

Excellent

Narration: crystal clear and engaging.

Content: everything you would want to know about viruses and ongoing efforts to control them.

2 people found this helpful

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

Deadliest Enemy

I saw a video with the author on it yesterday.I went immediately and bought the book.He has been right SO many times,but no one listens,no one that can do anything anyway.This is an excellent book if you want to know about epidemiology of the outbreak of just about anything.Written before our curremt Covid-19 crisis,he is dead on, as to what is going on with our situation.It could have been lessened if not prevented had we had cautions in place.Whoever survives will once again forget and then do nothing,again. Jamie Renell was a terrific narrator.

2 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kevin webster
  • Kevin webster
  • 03-17-20

Honest tale of Microbial dangers

The only book I finished in a day, it's that gripping and honest to it's subject. 'we can never overwhelm microbes, we can outsmart them, and so far microbes are winning the war' is echoing all around the world, as we struggle to contain Covid 19. Riveting, informative, and almost prophetic. I am going to give it another listen, stating right now.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-19-20

For every human in existence

Very eye opening and surprisingly easy to listen to concerning such a big and complicated topic. Well written and read. Highly recommended to every single person out there to raise awareness of the threats to our own existence which most people take for granted

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Peter
  • Peter
  • 06-06-20

Fantastic book, very indepth and insightful.

Awesomely detailed and thorough book. Could potentially to be seen as a little biased but loved it all the same. Will definately be giving it another listen.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 06-06-20

Fantastic and relevant

I'm sure the author is not a smug man. However I wouldn't blame him if he is sat in his house with an I told you so look on his face!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for A.Symington
  • A.Symington
  • 05-25-20

fantastic insight into what little we know

I came across this book after listening to Michael Osterholms podcast on a long trip home to Manchester from London at the beginning of March 2020 and wanted to delve into his world after hearing his thoughts on Covid 19 and a few other diseases he had tapped into whilst on the podcast!

He talks about some of the most deadly viruses and diseases we've had for the last 100 years and more and helps you understand how and why decisions are made!

from HIV to Ebola, SARS to Zika virus and many more.. this book is highly educational and has helped me understand were we are today amongst all the fear , nonsense and conspiracy theories that have surrounded covid 19.

I highly recommend this book .

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-13-20

Prepare, not panic.

Great book with lots of details on many different microbes dating back through modern history. It can be easy to be afraid and feel overwhelmed but having people like this who can change how we response and prepare.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gordon
  • Gordon
  • 04-07-20

Everyone should listen to this book.

Must read. Scary beyond belief. Particularly important now. Government take notice.
Mr Gates seems like our only chance for financial support.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Feedback for you. Ya you.
  • Feedback for you. Ya you.
  • 04-07-20

Prophetic

I’ve no real point of reference from which to compare this type of book apt online articles or National Geographic-esque print.
Also, most probably like yourself, I’m educating myself on these topics, due mostly in part to the current COVID-19 pandemic, without having a clear historical & biological understanding of such.

So, what have I leant or from your perspective, how did Osterholm & Olshaker impart their knowledge: I certainly have a greater understanding on the subject of pathogens without being overwhelmed with alien jargon or complicated in-depth analyses & this was all departed in a respectful manner - my convoluted way of saying that it was easy to follow.

Having finished it, I do feel like this was fed to me in bite sizes (perfectly proportionate servings 1st time around) but I’ve a hunger to know more.

Of course, there’s more discussed in this book, such as Osterholm’s personal & professional experiences, ‘prophetic’ yet utterly predictable scenarios, failings/shortcomings & an overview of the infrastructure surrounding pathogens/viruses, from governing oversight (short-sighted more like) Big-Pharma, to vaccine production, inoculation Etc.
He also goes into bacterial history & resistances, but here, I feel like he could have delved further & the same is true with regard to incorporated current climate change into the discussion

I bought this book after watching Osterholm on Joe Rogan’s podcast when I found him to be a knowledgeable, entertaining, affable & just an all-round straight up decent guy. All of which is evident throughout this book.

So, I leave with more admiration for the author, a healthier knowledge base & a thirst for more.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for A. Mcmillan
  • A. Mcmillan
  • 04-04-20

in COVID times, stunning foresight

incredible journey through what would happen if we didnt act, and we didnt!
very well narrated and discussed with a sensible balance of technical terms and layman balance

A must read

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr A R Haddock
  • Mr A R Haddock
  • 04-04-20

book about the end of the world

terrifying, the level of danger discussed in the book is much more than any horror movie.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for David
  • David
  • 04-27-20

Wish world leaders had read this before covid-19

Terrifying. Should be compulsory reading. So very relevant in 2020. Factual, insightful and not completely hopeless.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-21-20

Well Michael called it.....

Michael called it, even the tabletop exercise has played out very similarly to SARS-cov-2. learnt more about TSS than I every thought I would. A fantastic listen if you are hungry for facts after watching outbreak, contagion, or the Hot zone.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-31-20

Amazing book by Osterholm, really well written and informative to both lay people and medical/public health workers

Very topical book during this COVID-19 pandemic period! It’s very interesting to read pandemic related books prior to our present period, and I have to say that Deadliest Enemy is one of the best overarching communicable medicine books I’ve read in recent memory. I really enjoyed Osterholm’s overarching public health descriptions, descriptors of potential infective and epidemic potential pathogens, vectors etc, and how to prevent future pandemics. What is even more interesting is how strategies discussed here will be even more important after the dust for COVID-19 settles: it still stands to reason that the issues discussed such as in efficacy of the WHO, Just in time manufacturing etc is still an issue.

My one problem was that the narrator pronounced some fundamental elements wrong (eg called R0 as R oo rather than R-naught). I wish they consulted Osterholm before the book! Otherwise amazing audible experience!