Thursday, January 17, 2013

Invincible Microbe (2012)

Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure. Jim Murphy and Alison Blank. 2012.  150 pages.

Jim Murphy published two books in 2012. Invincible Microbe is definitely my favorite of the two. In eleven chapters, Murphy pieces together a narrative that tells the story of a microbe--M. tuberculosis--looking at the past, present, and future. The concluding chapters focus on MDR TB (multi-drug-resistant) and XDR-TB (extensively drug resistant). These chapters serve as a reminder that TB isn't a historical curiosity. That the oh-so-romantic image of consumptive artists never matched reality. (Though the fact that many writers, artists, and creative types did have TB is not disputed.) It was not a romantic way to die. (I did find it disturbing to learn that some people tried to look consumptive because they thought it made them look beautiful. It apparently being "in" to be consumptive.) The book is fascinating because it looks at science, medicine, history, literature, and sociology.

 Read Invincible Microbe
  • If you like nonfiction
  • If you like accessible, reader-friendly nonfiction
  • If you like Jim Murphy
© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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