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The Demon in the Freezer: A True Story Mass Market Paperback – Aug 26 2003


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett (Aug. 26 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345466632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345466631
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 10.5 x 2.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 141 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #53,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple on Nov. 23 2002
Format: Hardcover
T. S. Eliot's bleak vision of the future doesn't even begin to include the gloomy prognostications revealed in this book. That terrorists will either acquire or develop biological weapons capable of destroying all human life is not just a possibility, it's a probability, as Preston makes abundantly clear in this update on biological weapons development. This book is the ultimate wake-up call. Even if you want to sleep after reading this, you may not be able to.
Of the several biological weapons which have been under development in the past twenty-five years, smallpox is by far the most lethal and contagious, and irresponsible scientists have genetically engineered it in the past few years to make vaccination useless against it. Antidotes are unknown because humans are the only hosts for smallpox, and there is no way to run a test study of their efficacy. Preston points out, "It has taken the world twenty years to reach roughly fifty million cases of AIDS. [A single case of smallpox in an unprotected population] can reach that point in ten to twenty weeks."
A massive research and development program for weapons grade smallpox and plague, along with the MIRV missiles and warheads to deliver them abroad, continued, unknown and unmonitored, in the Soviet Union for twenty years after smallpox was officially eradicated in 1978. The whereabouts of the twenty tons of "hot," genetically altered smallpox are currently unknown. According to a defecting Russian scientist, even the Soviet researchers do not know where it went, but "they think it went to North Korea." Iran and Iraq are also believed to have "benefited" from this research and to have ongoing, active bioweapons research programs.
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By Cedric on July 17 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the sort of book that you just cannot put down. I started reading it on a long car ride home from Portland and was hooked immediately.
After telling a co-worker that I had enjoyed Preston's “THE HOT ZONE� she recommended this book as a follow-up. While I did enjoy it, I found the chapters about Anthrax boring in comparisson to the terror of smallpox and the fascinating story of its eradication.
“THE HOT ZONE� and Laurie Garrett's “THE COMING PLAGUE� (which I am currently in the middle of) are better, but this is an enjoyable read that is full of facts ot keep biology/pathology buffs hooked but not bogged down with technical jargon.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Demon in the Freezer is the third of Richard Preston's "Black Biology" books. It was his second non-fiction story involving bioterrorism and viruses. Although I have to admit that the Hot Zone was indeed a better book, I applaud Preston for his tremendous effort in writing The Demon in the Freezer. The book has a profusion of information regarding poxviruses and various sub-strains of this sub-microscopic killer. The book effectively intertwined biology, ethics, history, and war. The Demon in the Freezer, in a nutshell, is an interesting piece of work that should be read by all those who are uneducated in the field of global politics regarding bio-warfare.
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Format: Hardcover
A fascinating treatise on smallpox, including its history and recent emergence as the virus of choice for bioterrorists.
Smallpox came into existance only as human population densities swelled. In the late 18th century, Edward Jenner made history by performing the first successful smallpox vaccination. In the centuries that followed, humanity waged war against smallpox, and it was ostensibly eradicated from nature in the late seventies. It seems that mankind was too enamored with smallpox to destroy it completely, however, and it lives on in freezers around the world.
"The Hot Zone", by the same author, made me paranoid about the ebola virus. Having finished this book, I know now that ebola is child's play compared to smallpox.
"Demon" is full of loads of details about the biomedical industry, including a survey of modern practices, tools, techniques, and prominent players. The book is all the more terrifying given its non-fiction status.
A must read for anybody interested in infectious diseases, smallpox, or bioweapons programs.
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By A. Vegan on May 8 2004
Format: Audio CD
If you think what you've heard on the news about smallpox is scary, you don't want to listen to this audiobook. Richard Preston provides a very detailed description of the varieties of smallpox & anthrax - its symptoms, disfigurements, and various paths to death-in highly graphic language. Preston argues that, to believe that smallbox is not held elsewhere is nonsense. A lot of time is spent on the the anthrax attacks of 2001. He believes that smallpox, which has killed more people than any other infectious disease, is the greatest biological threat facing humanity. Preston relates the history of smallpox from 1000 B.C. to the outbreaks in the 1970s. He goes into great detail about the World Health Organization's campaign to eradicate it and the lost opportunity to destroy it forever. His final chapter introduces the idea of genetically modified smallpox that might be resistant not only to vaccines, but also to acquired immunity. The author draws readers into his narrative by humanizing his facts; researchers, WHO workers, and smallpox victims relay parts of this vivid and alarming story. This isn't something that you want to listen to on a full stomach.
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