The Demon Under the Microscope and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$8.99
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Former library book with typical marking for age. Think of it as checking out a book you don't have to return. DJ or cover has small nicks, scratches or creases. Binding is tight and in excellent condition. Pages have no notation marks or highlighting. Inspected to assure this publication meets or exceeds the Amazon Condition Guidelines. This book qualifies for PRIME and FREE SHIPPING! In Amazon's warehouse so buy enough to qualify for free shipping.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Demon Under the Microscope: From Battlefield Hospitals to Nazi Labs, One Doctor's Heroic Search for the World's First Miracle Drug Hardcover – September 19, 2006


See all 11 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$65.88 $0.01

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (September 19, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400082137
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400082131
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Modern bacteriology was born on the battlefields of WWI, where bacteria-rich trenches added to the toll of millions of soldiers killed. Not coincidentally, the search for anything that would significantly diminish the deadly power of disease largely occurred between the world wars, mostly in Germany. Gerhard Domagk and his colleagues at Bayer (a subsidiary of I.G. Farben) worked feverishly to identify which microscopic squiggles might render humankind forever safe from malaria and tuberculosis. The answer, discovered in 1932, turned out to be sulfa drugs, the precursors to modern antibiotics. Hager, a biographer of Linus Pauling, does a remarkable job of transforming material fit for a biology graduate seminar into highly entertaining reading. He knows that lay readers need plenty of personality and local color, and his story is rich with both. This yarn prefigures the modern rush for corporate pharma patents; it is testament to Hager's skill that the inherently unsexy process of finding the chemicals that might help conquer strep is as exciting as an account of the hunt for a Russian submarine. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–An exciting, fast-paced read, Demon opens with a grisly scene at Tripler General Hospital in Hawaii as ambulances, trucks, and private cars drop off the injured from Pearl Harbor. Men who were wounded, dismembered, and literally roasted in the harbor oil fires from exploding ships were tended to on the lawns outside the hospital and in three operating rooms that ran continuously for 11 hours. Not a single patient died due to infection, in dramatic contrast to World War I, when it was estimated that more soldiers died of infection than in combat. What was the difference? Sulfa drugs–antibiotics. The story of their discovery reads much like a suspense novel, set against the backdrop of World War I trench warfare and political intrigue in Europe leading up to World War II. The scientific leaders in medical research, Gerhard Domagk at Bayer, Sir Almroth Wright's group The Lords, and Ernest Fourneau at the Pasteur Institute, conducted meticulous work and experienced accidental discoveries that advanced medical procedures and determined the protocols for drug testing. Great reading both for curriculum support and general interest.–Brigeen Radoicich, Fresno County Office of Education, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Thomas Hager writes dramatic stories about the ways that science and technology shape our world. His two most recent books are "The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Discovery that Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler," critically acclaimed finalist for the National Academies Communications Award, Borders "Original Voices" selection, and one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of the year; and "The Demon Under the Microscope: From Battlefield Hospitals to Nazi Labs, One Doctor's Heroic Search for the World's First Miracle Drug", called "fascinating" (Los Angeles Times) and "a grand story" (Wall St. Journal).

A native Oregonian, Hager lives in the wooded hills near Eugene.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
38
4 star
14
3 star
1
2 star
1
1 star
0
See all 54 customer reviews
Anyone with an interest in medicine and history is likely to enjoy this book.
Michael Malagold
There is much in the book that is eye-opening, and sulfa is only one chapter in a book that also deals with medical history and the social history of science.
A. Jogalekar
Hager does not overreach - he has a compelling story, and he tells it exceedingly well.
K. Josic

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Diane Neer on November 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
On behalf of most of the Moms I know, I will admit that I have taken a child to the doctor with a sore throat and said the following out loud, "Well, I kind of hope it's strep so they can just put him/her on an antibiotic and he/she will be able to go back to school in a day or so." Well, when our grandparents were small children...people DIED from strep! In large numbers! Something like 1 in 4 women who gave birth in certain hospitals died from something called "childbed fever". More people in WWI died from infection than from war wounds. In WW1, Gonorrhea (the clap) was second only to the flu as a cause of disability and absence from duty.

This was in a time when people had electricity, cars, telephones and movies...but they could not cure easily transmittable diseases from which people died!

The simple solution to these infections and diseases was a class of drugs using Sulfa as the active ingredient. The story of how these drugs were discovered, developed, tested and used spans several decades and countries and had far-reaching effects on our current system of drug research and testing. At the beginning of the Sulfa era, people were still buying "patent medicines" which were unproven at best and dangerous or fatal at worst. The country's food and drug laws had no teeth...a perfect example being when a drug was found to have killed almost 100 people, the company which produced it could not be tried for negligence or murder, but could be tried for mislabeling!

The story is fascinating. The "characters" involved are as complex, heroic and villainous as characters in fiction. And the narrative moves along at a clip that fiction readers can deal with.

The Demon Under the Microscope is meticulously researched without those annoying footnotes on every page.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tim Ternstrom on November 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In a time when Bird Flu, AIDS, Ebola, Marburg and God-only-knows what other viruses threaten life today, its easy to forget that not too long ago bacteria posed an even greater menace. Anyone with as little as a cut or a scrape, nevermind battlefield wound, could fall victim to infection any variety of which could become life ending.
Medical Science at the time was, in the author's words, no more effective than "a medicine man with a mask and bone rattle." This book is the fascinating, and little known story of those who changed all of this. Thomas Hager
has so painstakingly researched every minute detail of the story and assembled a richly informing narrative. Yet, the story he tells moves like a well writen novel, keeping the reader fastened to the end. My only regret is that the publisher did not see fit to include photographs of places and persons mentioned. Nevertheless, for anyone like myself, who enjoys reading science and history at its best, you won't be dissapointed.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some dolt on a bicycle slammed into me yesterday. Fortunately I did not break any bones, but the bruises are giving me an uncomfortable time since then. After rinsing both knees with chlorhexidine and iodine, I was not concerned; if there was an infection, antibiotics would take care of it.

But it wouldn't have been that way seventy years ago, when the most you could do to prevent a wound from getting infected...was wait, and perhaps apply some crude remedies. That was how it had been for two hundred years. For all the progress we had made, bad bugs still mostly got the better of us. It is appalling that about fifty percent of deaths in WW1 were from infections that riddled shrapnel wounds, and not from explosives or gunfire themselves. Once infection set in and gas gangrene made its hideous appearance, all one could do was wait, and maybe hope that the suffering would end soon...until sulfa drugs appeared on the scene.

That era of sulfa drugs, and not the one of penicillin, was the first heroic age of antibiotics. Most of us, if asked to name the first wonder-drug antibiotic, would name penicillin. But long before penicillin, sulfa saved thousands of lives. Without sulfa around, Hoover's son died. With sulfa, FDR's son, and Winston Churchill, survived. Thomas Hager has done an excellent job in bringing this forgotten but extremely important story to life in "The Demon Under the Microscope". The former biographer of Linus Pauling has shown us how different it was to suddenly have a drug that cured infections that previously would have almost certainly killed you.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Everyone knows how penicillin revolutionized medical treatment of infections, most know about how Alexander Fleming discovered it, and some even know how Howard Florey and Ernst Chain took the discovery and made it something that could be used practically. Everyone knows that penicillin was a miracle drug, but almost everyone has forgotten that it was not the first miracle drug. The sulfa drugs came a decade before, producing unprecedented cures that physicians and patients thought of as miraculous; and then the penicillin-type antibiotics surpassed them. The history of the sulfa drugs is told in _The Demon Under the Microscope: From Battlefield Hospitals to Nazi Labs, One Doctor's Heroic Search for the World's First Miracle Drug_ (Harmony Books) by Thomas Hager. It is clear that sulfa deserves much more attention in the history of medicine than it has gotten. By some definitions, since they are not made by living organisms, sulfa drugs are not really antibiotics, but they certainly fought microbial infections in their time, and got medicine beyond the limits of mere antisepsis or disinfecting. They also proved a model for scientific evaluation of drug effectiveness.

Chances are that you have never even heard the name of the doctor whose work is the backbone for this story, Gerhard Domagk. Domagk makes a tenacious but unspectacular hero, working day after day through clinical trials, mostly with mice, but he was inspired by his harrowing experiences as a medic in the First World War to fight against the infections he had seen there caused by the strep germ, a feared killer, one that killed in many different ways, infecting tissue, blood, or spinal fluid. For five years, there were no results of his labwork, until he was sent a molecule with sulfonamide attached to it.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews