Dr. Gregory Koblentz has a new review out in the journal Terrorism and Political Violence, on Nicholas H. Bergman (Ed.)’s book “Bacillus anthracis and Anthrax”.
“This book provides a comprehensive review of the scientific community’s understanding of the bacteria Bacillus anthracis and the disease it causes, anthrax. This book is not just about biology though. As two of the book’s contributors observe, ‘the history of the anthrax vaccine attests to how biomedical science is influenced by society’s perception of the threat posed by infectious diseases and vice versa’ (p. 269). This is true of the broader B. anthracis research agenda as well. Research on B. anthracis in the United States declined significantly after the late 1960s, around the time that the United States renounced its offensive biological warfare program. Interest in the bacteria was rekindled in the 1980s by a suspicious outbreak of inhalation anthrax in the Soviet city of Sverdlovsk in 1979 (which was later determined to have been the result of an accident at a military biological weapon facility in the city). This book is a product of the latest surge in interest in this fascinating bacteria, galvanized by the 2001 anthrax letter attack.”