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Germs  By  cover art

Germs

By: Judith Miller,Stephen Engelberg,William Broad
Narrated by: Murphy Guyer
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Publisher's Summary

Deadly germs sprayed in shopping malls, bomblets spewing anthrax spores over battlefields, tiny vials of plague scattered in Times Square - these are the poor man's hydrogen bombs, hideous weapons of mass destruction that can be made in a simple laboratory.

Germs uncovers the truth about biological weapons and shows why bio-warfare and bio-terrorism are fast becoming our worst national nightmare. Based on hundreds of interviews with scientists and senior officials - including President Clinton and defectors from the former Soviet Union's sinister bio weapons labs - as well as recently declassified documents, Germs shows us bio-warriors past and present at work in their trade.

A frightening and unforgettable narrative of cutting-edge science and spycraft, Germs shows us why advances in biology and the spread of germ weapons expertise to such countries as Iran, Iraq, and North Korea could make germs the weapon of the 21st century.

©2001 Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg, and William Broad, All Rights Reserved (P)2001 Simon & Schuster Inc., AUDIOWORKS Is an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Makes the issues clear and accessible...even skeptical readers may have trouble sleeping easily after they finish it." (The New York Times)
"Chilling context about a nefarious weapon." (Booklist)
"Well-researched and documented." (Amazon.com)

What listeners say about Germs

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Should be called "Beltway Dollars"

This book is more about Washington politics than about biological warfare agents. Sadly, this is typical when establishment journalists like Judith Miller write a book about a scientific topic. We start out talking about "germs" and end up talking about Bill Clinton. The author is at times unfair, like when she does a hatchet job on the National Guard Civil Support Teams in the final chapter. Bottom line: if you are interested in biology, don't buy this book. If you're interested in Washington politics and gossip, by all means go ahead.

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It's Judith Miller.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I would have preferred a text more focused on current trends and historical facts and less focused on justifying anything any Bush Administration has ever done.

What was most disappointing about the authors’s story?

The fact that in the end, it's still an apologia for government paternalism.

3 people found this helpful

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A Foundation for Understanding the DoD’s Anthrax Strategy

Another book full of information I wish I had known before taking a series of Anthrax shots over the course of 14 years. This book was an easy read, full of history that flowed page after page, detailing the birth of the military’s controversial vaccine programs. The threat is one that nightmares are made of. The government’s efforts to develop a strategic defense and vaccine policy is food for more nightmares. Who gets the shot? How to get enough of the shots? What are the long term health ramifications from receiving the shot? All answers that still don’t really have good answers! Germs does a great job providing a foundation for understanding that I, again, wish I had known all those years ago.

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This info is relevant to our pandemic

Given the current pandemic response of the government it is easy to see how this book is relevant. Too bad no one paid attention.

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Government programs & small scale terrorism.

Governments the world over keep "Demons in the Freezer" for "research.

All the while allowing for a horrible potentiality. Know your "neighbors".

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Deep study of important topic

Where does Germs rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Near the top, but not at the top. It contained some truly fascinating case studies, but I ended up wishing there were more case studies and less policy discussion.

Any additional comments?

The overall lessons are really interesting and valuable, but at times there was too much detail about the behind-the-scenes movements that a person doesn't really need to know. One does end up learning how the US arrives at policies for different types of defense strategies, including this one. I am glad I listened to it - I just think a potential reader should know it's almost at an academic level, not just a popular one. That's fine with me, but not everyone would enjoy the depth.