April 25, 2014
Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure
by Jim Murphy and Alison Blank
Five hundred thousand years ago, a young Homo erectus died of tuberculosis. TB continues to infect people today. Part medical mystery, part social history, this is the story of the TB germ, its causes, its effects on the human body, and the hunt for a cure. Some of the treatments were truly barbaric, causing more harm than good. Others tried to be more friendly, like the sanatoriums. But for the "outsiders"‚ - African Americans, Native Americans, the poor, the immigrants - medical care was denied.
Jim Murphy writes with an immediacy that makes for compelling and fascinating reading. He explains the scientific concepts with simple and straightforward prose that is clearly understandable. Source notes and a bibliography reveal his extensive research.