Download Miracle Cure: The Creation of Antibiotics and the Birth of Modern Medicine Audiobook

Miracle Cure: The Creation of Antibiotics and the Birth of Modern Medicine Audiobook, by William Rosen Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: William Rosen Narrator: Rob Shapiro Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9781524755829
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book)
Regular Price: $20.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $17.95$7.95$7.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

The epic history of how antibiotics were born, saving millions of lives and creating a vast new industry known as Big Pharma.

As late as the 1930s, virtually no drug intended for sickness did any good; doctors could set bones, deliver babies, and offer palliative care. That all changed in less than a generation with the discovery and development of a new category of medicine known as antibiotics. By 1955, the age-old evolutionary relationship between humans and microbes had been transformed, trivializing once deadly infections.

William Rosen captures this revolution with all its false starts, lucky surprises, and eccentric characters. He explains why, given the complex nature of bacteria—and their ability to rapidly evolve into new forms—the only way to locate and test potential antibiotic strains is by large-scale, systematic, trial-and-error experimentation. Organizing that research needs large, well-funded organizations and businesses, and so our entire scientific-industrial complex, built around the pharmaceutical company, was born.

Timely, engrossing, and eye-opening, Miracle Cure is a must-read science narrative—a drama of enormous range, combining science, technology, politics, and economics to illuminate the reasons behind one of the most dramatic changes in humanity’s relationship with nature since the invention of agriculture ten thousand years ago.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Narrator Rob Shapiro’s resonant baritone carries the listener smoothly through this fascinating history…[and] effortlessly articulates the names of chemical compounds, bacterial species, French scientists, and German companies…Shapiro perfectly conveys the author’s disapproval, amusement, and admiration. An entertaining production of an extraordinarily interesting book. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “Rosen’s highly informed retelling captures the drama of scientists’ quest…and the egos, ambitions, brilliance, and resolve that drove them.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Delivers reams of science at a thrilleresque pace. The experimentalists—Gerhard Domagk and Howard Florey among them—are vividly portrayed, as are the patients cured.”


  • “Rosen tells the lavish story of antibiotics with the flair and skill of a seasoned novelist…A triumph of science writing.”

    Minneapolie Star Tribune

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A Library Journal bestseller in science history

Listener Reviews

Be the first to write a review about this audiobook!
Write a Review

About the Author

William Rosen, author of The Third Horseman, Justinian’s Flea, and The Most Powerful Idea in the World, among other books, was an editor and a publisher at Macmillan, Simon and Schuster, and the Free Press for nearly twenty-five years.

About the Narrator

Rob Shapiro is a musician, writer, voice actor, and Earphones Award–winning narrator. He performed several seasons of radio comedy on Minneapolis Public Radio and voiced the titular lion in Leo the Lion. He is a musician and composer with his critically acclaimed band Populuxe. He is also a business consultant and software system designer.