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A longtime contributor to The New Yorker and author of the bestseller The Hot Zone, Preston is a skillful journalist whose work flows like a science fiction thriller. Based on extensive interviews with smallpox experts, health workers, and members of the U.S. intelligence community, The Demon in the Freezer details the history and behavior of the virus and how it was eventually isolated and eradicated by the heroic individuals of the World Health Organization. Preston also explains why a battle still rages between those who want to destroy all known stocks of the virus and those who want to keep some samples alive until a cure is found. This is a bitterly contentious point between scientists. Some worry that further testing will trigger a biological arms race, while others argue that more research is necessary since there are currently too few available doses of the vaccine to deal with a major outbreak. The anthrax scare of October, 2001, which Preston also writes about in this book, has served to reinforce the present dangers of biological warfare.
As Preston eloquently states in this powerful book, this scourge, once contained, was let loose again due to human weakness: "The virus's last strategy for survival was to bewitch its host and become a source of power. We could eradicate smallpox from nature, but we could not uproot the virus from the human heart." --Shawn Carkonen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Non fiction horror story waiting to happen. A quick read with just the right amount of detail. Let's hope somewhere someone comes up with a better vaccine.Published 49 minutes ago by xxlsoup
I love this popular science stuff. I listen rathere than read. Then had tovreread parts. Fits with my fear of terrorist flying in infected with smallpox. Read morePublished 13 hours ago by Martha Krikeles
I haven't read it yet, but if is anything like The Hot Zone, it is going to be very good. In his books, I have picked up a lot of information about microbiology and health safety... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Michael Dobry
Best non-fiction book I've ever read. But if you'd prefer to keep your head in the sand, then don't ready it.Published 2 days ago by Adams
Like many people, I devoured "The Hot Zone" when it came out. It was the stuff of the best of horror stories. Stephen King could have penned its like. Only this story was true. Read morePublished 5 days ago by wyldwoman
I enjoyed it and read through it quickly as it kept my attention. I'm a little disturbed by the content because if the reality of itPublished 12 days ago by Cori
Another good read about Bio-weapon issues...a good addition to any read list for someone interested in security or emergency management.Published 13 days ago by HonorEOD
Incredible, informative, heart wrenching and terrifying. To learn about the devastating effects that a simple virus could have on all of humanity is quite a wake up call. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Jason
I suspect when Richard Preston started writing The Demon in the Freezer, he intended the book to be entirely about smallpox – it’s eradication and potential resurrection, either by... Read morePublished 16 days ago by technicat