20 Following


Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure

Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure - Jim Murphy,  Alison Blank The best thing about this story is that while it is topical, Murphy found the narrative thread and followed it. The question of resistance to antibiotics is the big finish this story is all leading toward. He builds up TB as a 'character' almost, that gains depth without being anthropomorphized or trivialized in the process.

It's always shocking to me how recently we are talking about people not believing in 'germ theory' as the great explanation of major diseases. Even fewer than 100 years ago, it was difficult for this idea to take hold in some ways. I knew my great grandpa Christensen when he was old, and he was born in the 1880s, just about the time Koch first identified TB bacteria. The disbelief is so much like the current disbelief about climate change. Because the answer to TB was major change in municipal planning and local government agendas, there was wide inertia and resistance.

Well-sourced. No complaints here.

The narrative and depth provides the aspect to this book that makes it more vital than what one would find simply on the internet. Still, the basic outline for this entire book can be found in the wikipedia article, which bothers me. Not because it suggests anything about Murphy's work, but because if I were researching TB why would I spend the time to read this book instead of just going over the key points. The book offers depth, it characterizes the main players more deeply, and also highlights the injustices. But what would have made it truly stand out as different from the wikipedia article? This is the question authors have to ask in topical writing today.