I know what you’re saying. What a funny title! I wish I had something interesting in my freezer, other than those peas and some vanilla ice cream, and what could be more interesting than A DEMON. But oh no, you do not want this demon in your freezer, cause it is SMALLPOX! And the freezers are in the US and Russia. BUT, if you think we are the only ones with smallpox stores, Richard Preston is going to tell you how mistaken you are. The Demon in the Freezer is a thrilling look at the eradication of smallpox in the 1970’s, and the current bio-terrorism threat it poses. We follow several members of the scientific community as they consider the controversy of smallpox research and vaccine development.
The Demon in the Freezer also leads us through the anthrax scares following September 11 in the United States. Preston uses anthrax as a way to demonstrate how a potential smallpox attack would be so simple to conduct, and so absolutely devastating. I enjoyed the smallpox portions better than the anthrax portions; it seemed so much more exciting, perhaps because it was so much more terrifying. I have never lived in an age in which smallpox existed in nature, and to understand how easy it would be to transform the virus into an unstoppable force is truly fascinating. A great book for science and medicine lovers alike. Also check out Preston’s The Hot Zone about Ebola.