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Microbe Hunters Paperback – April 1, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0156002622 ISBN-10: 0156002620 Edition: 70th

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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 (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #709,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

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Customer Reviews

I first read this book 56 years ago and I have reread it twice since.
Andrew Francis Martin
I strongly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the history of science.
Marco
What surprise me is the somewhat casual and humor-injected writing style.
M. E. Dungo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Prof. F-Christian V. Bruch on August 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
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 By "ghp2001" on May 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
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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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 22, 1997
Format: Paperback
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 By Marco on August 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
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 By Bob Mori on November 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
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 By J. W. Cross on December 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
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 By Joseph Hall on September 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
"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 By A Customer on May 15, 1997
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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