The demon under the microscope

from battlefield hospitals to Nazi labs, one doctor's heroic search for the world's first miracle drug

340 pages

English language

Published Dec. 8, 2006 by Harmony Books.

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5 stars (2 reviews)

The Nazis discovered it. The Allies won the war with it. It conquered diseases, changed laws, and single-handedly launched the era of antibiotics. It was sulfa, the first synthetic antibiotic. Science writer Hager chronicles the history of the drug that shaped modern medicine. Sulfa saved millions of lives--among them those of Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr.--but even more, it changed the way new drugs were developed, approved, and sold; transformed the way doctors treated patients; and ushered in the era of modern medicine. The very concept that chemicals created in a lab could cure disease revolutionized medicine, taking it from the treatment of symptoms and discomfort to the eradication of the root cause of illness. This book illuminates the vivid characters, corporate strategy, individual idealism, careful planning, lucky breaks, cynicism, heroism, greed, hard work, and the central (though mistaken) idea that brought sulfa to the world.--From publisher description.

1 edition


  • Medical scientists
  • Physicians
  • Antibacterial agents
  • Bacterial diseases
  • Chemotherapy
  • Therapeutic use
  • History
  • Sulfonamides
  • Biography
  • History, 20th Century


  • Germany