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Microbe Hunters [Paperback]

by Paul de Kruif
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Microbe Hunters Microbe Hunters 4.5 out of 5 stars (38)
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Book Description

April 1, 1996 0156002620 978-0156002622 70th
In this classic bestseller, Paul de Kruif dramatizes the pioneering bacteriological work of such scientists as Leeuwenhoek, Spallanzani, Koch, Pasteur, Reed, and Ehrlich. This seventieth anniversary edition features a new introduction by F. Gonzalez-Crussi. Index.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul de Kruif (1890-1971), a bacteriologist and pathologist, was a prolific author on the subject of medical science. He lived in Michigan and taught for many years at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 70th edition (April 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156002620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156002622
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,002,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Microbe Hunters August 20, 2000
I first read this book when I was in grammar school (K-6 level)and found it absolutely fascinating. I couldn't put it down. As a graduate of UC-Berkeley (BA, MS in biology), I highly recommend it not only to aspiring scientists, but to all who enjoy 'mysteries' - true life mysteries! When I was a med student at Albany Medical College, we took physiology and pharmacology in the "T-Smith" building. Theobald Smith was a grad of AMC. You will find his story here in "Ticks and Texas Fever". My copy is falling apart, but I consider it an old friend. It is one book that should be in everyone's library. I disagree (as one reviewer said) that it is "racist". I also disagree that it is not for youngsters. Get this book and treasure it!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Years ago, as a nursing student, I was enthralled by the intrigue created in the history of microbiology by the author. The most famous scientists I had studied about in textbooks suddenly became my heroes, discovering invisible enemies of humanity, and waging all-out wars in their battles to save us. To this day, I feel this book did more in promoting good handwashing techniques than all my nursing instructors ever could. I was thrilled to find the book still accessible through Amazon. It is a "must read" for all healthcare personnel.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book should put all other science stories to shame! First published in 1926, de Kruif elegantly and creatively describes the life and times of microbe hunters, from the very first man to peer into a lense and see the "wretched beasties." The stories are humerous, includes the family influences and accidental occurances with each discovery. A great addition for any science or medical buff! Also enjoyable but a little more tough to read "The Hot Zone" and "The Andromeda Strain" and "The Comming Plauge". I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!! :
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Microbe Hunters August 28, 2000
By Marco
Well written history of the earliest researchers and explorers of the microscopic world. The author provides histories that reveial the human side of these early explorers; the science is non technical so the lay person can easily follow in the foot steps of these pioners. DeKruif writes with passion and humor making this an enjoyable and informative read. Although the book was first published more than 50 years ago, it is an excellent and relevant history. I strongly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the history of science.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ripping good stories, better than any fiction November 1, 2001
Wonderful book, lively prose, vivid descriptions of the dawn of modern medicine as it was developed in army hospitals, jungles, swamps, and cramped attic "laboratories." And lines like "... the fundemental sadness of Pasteur's life, ....the crown of thorns that madmen wear whose dream it is to change a world in the little seventy years they are allowed to live."
Too bad descriptions of blacks as "darkies" (1924) will keep this book out of the hands of some kids. But come on, these scientists risked their lives and very often died trying to cure the sick in Africa. So can we can cut them a little slack for not being as gloriously enlightened as us, even if they were infintely braver ?
People familiar with biethics or medicine will see a world where many ethical questions that had not been defined. For instance, informed consent and double blind trials were hardly known - almost *none* of the experimental treatments could be done legally today, even though the researchers often used themselves as subjects and died.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic December 8, 1999
I suspect that Paul De Kruif's "Microbe Hunters" has inspired more future biomedical scientists than any other book. The "Double Helix" by Nobel Laureate James D. Watson is the only competition.
"Microbe Hunters" was written in the 1920's before we knew much about DNA, before the electron microscope, before antibiotics, so much in it is dated. Yet "Microbe Hunters" gets across the excitement of research in a way that is lacking in most writings about science and scientists.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transition in Time September 5, 2002
"The Microbe Hunters" charts the amazing shift in medical knowledge from both the historical and philisophical viewpoints. Dr. de Kruif's genius lies in the fact that he can transform the highly technical jargon of medicine into a compelling story of men versus nature. It is very readable!
He maps the course that men such as Pasture and Koch blazed into the realm of scientific methodology that is still revered today. You will feel the heat of the battle as the individuals depicted herein challenged the conventional wisdom of their day and transformed medicine from superstition to a healing art.
I was first introduced to the book in a class on microbiology, but obtained a true education in how curiosity, dedication and perserverance on the part of a few pioneers changed our view of nature forever. This book is a must read for anyone wanting to undrstand numan nature or the strange and wonderful word of pathogens. As a college professor I recomend this book to anyone who wants to find the inspiration for education in one book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On of the best books I have read! May 15, 1997
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
I read this book several years ago and I am getting ready to read it again. It is written in a way that makes you want to read it at one setting and it is very hard to put it down once you get into it. Mr. De Kruif has a way with words which is a little unusual but very readable. I think that this would be a good read for any student that is interested in science
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Classic
I first read this book 56 years ago and I have reread it twice since. This one was a gift for a friend, shipped direct. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Andrew Francis Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational! for two generations . . .
This book inspired my Dad to become a science teacher and eventually get his doctorate. I grew up wanting to be a research scientist, because of my dad, and because of this book. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Elizabeth
4.0 out of 5 stars Brings the science to life in a memorable way
This book was sitting on my shelf for over a year because the topic seemed boring. A friend had given me the book as a gift, and finally one day with ` nothing else to read' I... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Homer
5.0 out of 5 stars best place to start to learn history of microbiology
I'm in a bio-y PhD program and picked up this book for fun. I found it entertaining, thought provoking and inspiring. Read more
Published 4 months ago by first & second hand opinions
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reading Even Though Its Almost a Century Old
Its an old book- which is okay.

What surprise me is the somewhat casual and humor-injected writing style. Read more
Published on September 22, 2010 by M. E. Dungo
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best accounts...
I read it when I was a teenager. I still find it perhaps the best account on the early microbe discoverers. Read more
Published on January 23, 2001 by CLAUDIO
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
My father read this book when he was younger, and it inspired him to go onto a career in science. He eventually became a virologist with the National Institutes of Health. Read more
Published on October 4, 2000 by "lisa37"
2.0 out of 5 stars Be Aware of the Racism
Because so many eminent researchers point to this book as an inspiration, I was excited to read it. I was quite disappointed that the author is more than just a little racist. Read more
Published on February 10, 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Remember it Well
I will never forget the excitement and inspiration this great book gave me as a young reader, and I am buying it for my 9 year old son, so he too can treasure it forever...
Published on February 5, 2000 by Jeff B
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