At 2:00am on October 2, 2001, Robert Stevens entered a hospital emergency room. Feverish, nauseated, and barely conscious, no one knew what was making him sick. It was the doctors and public health officials who solved this medical mystery. Stevens was the first fatal victim of bioterrorism in America.
The events of September 11th and the anthrax attacks that followed only three weeks later were horrifying. Many of us felt we were living in a world gone mad. Already shaken by the images of jetliners deliberately flown into the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center, we were soon scared to open our mail. No longer could we look forward to birthday wishes or holiday postcards. We couldn t even safely face the delivery of our monthly bills. We had now become literally afraid of the microbial menace that could be lurking in our mailboxes. This time terror had struck close to home to everyone s home.
But behind the panic and the politics was a key line of defense. While the police and FBI frantically investigated a crime, there were other professionals at work, conducting their own painstaking inquiry medical and scientific detectives hot on the trail of deadly organisms deliberately set loose in the postal system. Modern heroes in a quickly changing world, the public health officials, physicians, researchers, and scientists who staff our hospitals, clinics, and laboratories will be the first responders on the scene of any future biowarfare event.
Conducting his own detective work, bioterrorism expert Leonard Cole has composed a series of fascinating stories that get to the heart of all the noisy sound bytes and hysterical headlines. Cole is the only person outside law enforcement to have interviewed every one of the surviving inhalation-anthrax victims, along with the relatives, friends, and associates of those who died, as well as the public health officials, scientists, researchers, hospital workers, and treating physicians indeed, anyone who has something of value to add to the story. Speaking through their voices, the narrative reflects the tension and emotions stirred by the events from the fall of 2001.
Fast paced and riveting, this minute-by-minute chronicle of the anthrax attacks recounts more than a history of recent current events, it uncovers the untold and perhaps even more important story of how scientists, doctors, and researchers perform life-saving work under intense pressure and public scrutiny. The Anthrax Letters amply demonstrates how vulnerable America and the world really were in 2001. It also shows quite clearly how scientific research promises to strengthen our ability to address the challenges we must meet in the future.
Table of Contents
The National Academies Press (NAP) has partnered with Copyright Clearance Center's Rightslink service to offer you a variety of options for reusing NAP content. Through Rightslink, you may request permission to reprint NAP content in another publication, course pack, secure website, or other media. Rightslink allows you to instantly obtain permission, pay related fees, and print a license directly from the NAP website. The complete terms and conditions of your reuse license can be found in the license agreement that will be made available to you during the online order process. To request permission through Rightslink you are required to create an account by filling out a simple online form. The following list describes license reuses offered by the National Academies Press (NAP) through Rightslink:
Click here to obtain permission for the above reuses. If you have questions or comments concerning the Rightslink service, please contact:
Rightslink Customer Care
Tel (toll free): 877/622-5543
To request permission to distribute a PDF, please contact our Customer Service Department at 800-624-6242 for pricing.
To request permission to translate a book published by the National Academies Press or its imprint, the Joseph Henry Press, please click here to view more information.