In Search of the Animalcule
About the Book
When he is born in 1847 Vienna, Jacob Pfleger shares just two days with his mother, a female obstetrician who dies, like thousands of other women around the world, of the mysterious childbed fever. Because his birth father wants nothing to do with him, Jacob is placed in an orphanage. His mother’s dying wish is that he will grow up with resilience and independence. As Jacob matures into a precocious twelve-year-old, he is told about the legacy of his mother by her colleague, Ignaz Semmelweis, and learns that his father is a winemaker in Lille, France. Determined to find his father and his destiny, Jacob embarks on a quest to locate him. When he arrives in France, Jacob is introduced to Louis Pasteur who is working with is father to determine why the wines of France are spoiling. As he is led on an intense scientific journey, Jacob eventually also works with Joseph Lister and Robert Koch, participating in the great discoveries of the era that uncover the animalcules, the bacteria, that have caused global disease and death. Later Jacob studies to become a doctor under the mentorship of Sir William Osler at Johns Hopkins. In this amazing story that captures the real lives and work of the great scientists of the time, an orphan assists in shocking discoveries that change the worlds understanding of disease and uncovers the field of infectious disease.
About the Author
Steven L. Berk, M.D., is the Executive Vice-President of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and Dean of the School of Medicine. He is a Board- certified expert in infectious diseases and has written 150 peer reviewed papers and five medical textbooks. Dr Berk has had an interest in the history of medicine and is a member of the American Osler Society. He is the author of Anatomy of Kidnapping, a memoir, which received the Forward Review Silver Book of the year award.